It’s not always fun thinking about things that could go wrong. But when you’re creating a business, taking the time to think about these things can help prevent risk. Creating a solid backup plan for your business can help ensure success—even if something bad happens. That’s where a business continuity plan can help.
A business continuity plan (BCP) is a long-term strategy to help your business overcome and recover from major roadblocks. Creating a BCP ensures that, even if something goes wrong, your business still has a strategy in place to overcome that issue.
While sometimes used interchangeably, a business continuity plan and a contingency plan are actually different. A contingency plan is a short-term strategy to help you overcome the immediate effects of an issue or risk. A business continuity plan is the long-term strategy you use to get your business back on track after encountering a roadblock or issue.
A business continuity plan template is the basic framework of a continuity plan, which you can easily duplicate whenever you need to create a new plan.It’s intended to be used as a skeleton, so your team can fill it with the important information needed to establish a strong business continuity plan.
Using a business continuity plan template ensures that every single BCP you create has all the necessary information your team needs to make the plan successful. When there’s a repeatable framework, your team becomes more familiar with what information goes into a BCP. As a result, they’ll be more comfortable using the plan, should the situation arise.
The goal of a business continuity plan template is to help everyone on your team understand what to do after an emergency happens. That means your BCP template should organize key information into the following categories. That way, your team can fill out the correct information when you build your strategy.
Directly responsible individuals (DRIs) or important tiger teams: These are the individual points of contact you would go to in case of an emergency. You’ll find contact information for the DRIs, plus the best way to reach them in this section.
Risk assessment: This includes risk analysis documents such as a risk register, which analyzes potential setbacks a project or your business may encounter.
Action plan: The step-by-step plan your team will follow if an emergency happens.
Recovery procedures: This section details the steps your team should take to recover from any major business interruptions.
Crucial business functions: The key aspects of the business that are necessary to keep things functioning. These are the bare minimum operations that your business needs running smoothly if you want to stay functional. It’s important to highlight these functions so your team knows which areas to focus on should an emergency arise.
Succession plan: In the event that leaders or DRIs are unable to fill a role, a succession plan provides a back-up person to take their place.
Internal communication strategy: It’s important to develop a communication plan for how you share information with your entire team. Developing a communication strategy beforehand can help prevent misinformation and confusing messaging from going out to your team during emergency situations.
Alternate business processes (aka backup plans): This section details alternate ways your business can still function even if a part of it fails. This can include alternate vendors or suppliers, or manual workarounds for automated tasks.
Using a business continuity plan template can help your team in a few different ways. Here’s how.
Faster recovery: When disaster happens, you want to be able to recover quickly to minimize the amount of downtime your company faces. Having a BCP template prepared can help minimize the amount of time it takes to develop a full BCP strategy.
Create multiple fail-safes: Sometimes one BCP is not enough. A BCP template can help you create multiple plans so you have more than one way to recover should an emergency occur.
Insurance doesn’t cover everything: While insuring your business is a smart move, it won’t be able to help you in all situations, such as an economic downturn. Using a BCP template means your business is ready to develop a strategy before any external environments begin to change, so your team can start planning as soon as you catch wind of something on the horizon.
List View. List View is a grid-style view that makes it easy to see all of your project’s information at a glance. Like a to-do list or a spreadsheet, List View displays all of your tasks at once so you can not only see task titles and due dates, but also view any relevant custom fields like Priority, Status, or more. Unlock effortless collaboration by giving your entire team visibility into who’s doing what by when.
Subtasks. Sometimes a to-do is too big to capture in one task. If a task has more than one contributor, a broad due date, or stakeholders that need to review and approve before it can go live, subtasks can help. Subtasks are a powerful way to distribute work and split tasks into individual components—while keeping the small to-dos connected to the overarching context of the parent task. Break tasks into smaller components or capture the individual components of a multi-step process with subtasks.
Custom fields. Custom fields are the best way to tag, sort, and filter work. Create unique custom fields for any information you need to track—from priority and status to email or phone number. Use custom fields to sort and schedule your to-dos so you know what to work on first. Plus, share custom fields across tasks and projects to ensure consistency across your organization.
Messaging. Need to share information that isn’t actionable? Try Messages in Asana. Messages enable you to communicate within Asana about non-actionable work. You can send messages to any combination of individuals, teams, and projects, so everyone is on the same page. Link to tasks, projects, and Goals in Asana to make it easy for your message recipients to gain context and drill down into the details.
Microsoft Teams. With the Microsoft Teams + Asana integration, you can search for and share the information you need without leaving Teams. Easily connect your Teams conversations to actionable items in Asana. Plus, create, assign, and view tasks during a Teams Meeting without needing to switch to your browser.
Slack. Turn ideas, work requests, and action items from Slack into trackable tasks and comments in Asana. Go from quick questions and action items to tasks with assignees and due dates. Easily capture work so requests and to-dos don’t get lost in Slack.
Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.
Zoom. Asana and Zoom are partnering up to help teams have more purposeful and focused meetings. The Zoom + Asana integration makes it easy to prepare for meetings, hold actionable conversations, and access information once the call is over. Meetings begin in Asana, where shared meeting agendas provide visibility and context about what will be discussed. During the meeting, team members can quickly create tasks within Zoom, so details and action items don’t get lost. And once the meeting is over, the Zoom + Asana integration pulls meeting transcripts and recordings into Asana, so all collaborators and stakeholders can review the meeting as needed.
Creating a business continuity plan template is simple. Start by using collaborative work management software like Asana so that your entire team can access the template. From there, create sections for all of the key components of a BCP template—like directly responsible individuals (DRIs), risk assessments, action plans, recovery procedures, crucial business functions, succession plans, internal communication strategies, and alternate business processes.
When you start filling out the key information in a business continuity plan template, there are four segments that you should consider: people (meaning your employees and potential customers), processes (the steps you need to take to run your business), premises (the physical location or locations of your business), and providers (business partners like suppliers and vendors).
A business continuity plan checklist is a list of tasks your team should complete when experiencing an emergency or potential risk. It helps by minimizing the amount of disruptions your business experiences when encountering issues or roadblocks.The easiest way to create this checklist is by using a business continuity plan template. That way, you have the same checklist for every strategy you create.