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The Business Continuity Planning Timeline

Posted on Mon, Nov 11, 2013

Not all business continuity events are instantaneous. Although network disruptions and many emergencies are unforeseeable, instances such as significant weather and other events are often predictable, allowing companies to sequentially initiate business continuity plans, if necessary.

Business continuity planning is an ongoing process that should serve as systematically guide for employees to restore operations that are affected by abnormal conditions. Unfortunately, once a business continuity plan (BCP) has been developed, some companies check it off the list as “completed” project. However, if BCP is to be successfully deployed, it must be periodically reviewed, assessed, and updated according to ebb and flow of its designated operations. Plan development and maintenance efforts are typically aligned with the size, complexity, and volatility of a company, or facility.

Below is a general timeline for business continuity implementation. This timeline is inclusive of predicted events, however, it can be accelerated to account for emergency situations and/or timing disparities.

Weeks leading up to identified events:

  • Execute a business impact analysis (BIA) and review
  • Submit BCP updates for each department, as necessary per the BIA
  • Ensure required information/contact list is accurate
  • Train employees on BCP implementation and restorative operations
  • Make specific recommendations for the yearly training program
  • Identify and coordinate all logistical and administrative resources
  • Identify any additional BCP preparation actions

4 Days from identified event

  • Ensure that all actions required for BCP accuracy are complete
  • Advise the BCP management team regarding the developing situation
  • Establish BCP meeting schedule
  • Set incremental time frame for situational updates
  • Evaluate the need and timetable for BCP implementation
  • Advise department heads/coordinators of BCP intentions regarding the situation
  • If relocating operations, coordinate specifics of the move after initial BCP activation
  • Obtain hotels reservation in alternate location, if applicable
  • Execute the final review of the BCP


2 Days (48 hours) from identified event
  • Ensure that all BCP actions required up to this point have been completed
  • If BCP is being implemented, move forward and coordinate implementation procedures
  • If applicable, move operations to alternate site
  • If relocating, review the lodging requirements/assignments with BC staff
  • Review the Communication Plan with staff
  • If evacuation is necessary, communicate expectations to staff

During the event

  • If the event occurs without time for added preparation, immediately implement current BCP procedures
  • Confirm all preparedness activities and required actions for implementation are complete
  • Coordinate operations from alternate site
  • Communicate with Department Heads/Coordinators regarding BCP level/status
  • Produce status reports and distribute to BC management team
  • Produce status reports/press releases for stakeholders, clients, and media
  • Generate information bulletins for employees and contractors

Recovery/Post event

  • Ensure all departments are able to implement a full recovery
  • Receive completed status reports and updates from department coordinators
  • If necessary, mitigate any requirements from critical business units to ensure full recovery
  • If applicable and safe, relocate to original operational site
  • If necessary, continue to coordinate recovery operations from alternate site
  • Organize documentation of all executed actions for review and historical record
  • Communicate current BCP level, or deactivation readiness
  • Review expenditures and submit expense reports
  • Prepare the final report, and send to corporate BCP coordinator
  • Review reports and conduct debrief meetings to identify lessons learned
  • Update BCP with lessons learned
  • Schedule BCP training to review updated BCP procedures


For a free download on how to conduct an effective emergency exercise, click the image below:

TRP Corp Emergency Response Planning Exercises

Tags: Business Continuity key points, Business Continuity, Extreme Weather, Business Continuity Plan, BCM Metrics