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smu mba solved assignments for Q.1 What is meant by “Business Continuity Plan” (BCP)? Discuss the steps involved in BCP. Q.1 What is meant by “Business Continuity Plan” (BCP)? Discuss the steps involved in BCP.

Concepts of Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
According to the Business Continuity Institute, a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is defined as:
“A document containing the recovery timeline methodology, test-validated documentation, procedures, and action instructions developed specifically for use in restoring organisation operations in the event of a declared disaster. To be effective, most Business Continuity Plans also require testing, skilled personnel, access to vital records, and alternate recovery resources including facilities”.

BCP is a collection of procedures which is developed, recorded and maintained in readiness for use in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Steps in Business Continuity Plan
The BCP’s senior management committee is responsible for the initiation, planning, approval, testing and audit of the BCP. The BCP’s senior management committee also implements the BCP, coordinates its activities, supervises its creation and reviews the results of quality assurance activities. These steps are discussed below:
— Initiation
— Business impact analysis
— Disaster readiness strategies
— Develop and implement the plan
— Maintenance and testing
1. Initiation
The senior management initiates the project and conducts the meeting to review the following:
° Establish a business continuity planning committee – The senior management identifies a team and discusses the business continuity planning project with them. The management forms a team and clearly defines the roles of project team members.
° Draw up business continuity policies – The team establishes the basic principles and framework necessary to ensure emergency response for resumption and recovery, restoration and permanent recovery of the organisational operations and business activities during a business interruption event.

2. Business impact analysis (BIA)
BIA is the most important element of the continuity plan. BIA reveals the financial and operational impact of a major disruption. BIA report describes the potential risks specific to the organisation. It will provide the organisation with the following details:
° The identification of time sensitive business operations and services.
° An analysis of the organisation’s financial status and operational impacts.
° The time-frames in which the time-sensitive processes, operations and functions must resume.
° An estimation of the resources necessary for successful resumption, recovery and restoration.
° The BIA will provide a basis and cost justification for risk management, response, recovery and restoration.

3. Disaster readiness strategies
The disaster readiness strategies include the following activities:
° Define business continuity alternatives – Using the information from BIA, the project team should assess the alternative strategies that are available to the organisation and identify two or three strategies that are more credible.
° Estimate cost of business continuity alternatives – Based on these strategies, the organisation develops the budgetary plan. The resumption timeframe plays an important role in examining which elements may require pre-positioning.
° Recommend disaster readiness strategy - Based on the needs of the business and evaluation of alternatives, the project team should develop recommendations of strategies to provide funds for implementation. Prepare a formal report based on the findings of the BIA for the strategy alternatives that were developed and analysed Take approval from senior management to proceed with the project.

4. Develop and implement the plan
Develop and implement the plan includes the following activities:
° Emergency response and operations – It establishes a crisis management process to respond to these incidents.
° Develop and implement a business continuity plan – The plan describes specifically how to deal with the incidents. It should focus on the priorities of overall business continuity strategy.
° Apply business unit plans for each department – Describe the roles that each department has to perform in the event of an emergency.Example – It should detail the actions that the IT department will have to carry out if IT services are lost.

5. Maintenance and testing
Maintenance and testing includes the following activities:
° Establish a plan exercise program – BCP should develop and schedule the exercises to achieve and maintain high levels of competence and readiness. Document the objectives of each exercise and it should include the measurement criteria. Evaluate the results of each exercise against pre-stated values and document the results along with proposed plan enhancement.
° Awareness and training plans – It should ensure that the personnel is aware of the importance of business continuity plan and can operate effectively in case of an event .Review the effectiveness of awareness training and identify the need for further training.
° Sample emergency response exercises – Emergency response exercises should be ongoing. The exercises can be repeated using alternate setup and it should involve whole organisation within a particular facility that may be affected by a system disaster.
° Audit and update the plans regularly – It should regularly audit the plans to check if it meets the needs of the organisation and ensures that the documentation remains accurate and reflects any changes inside or outside the business.


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