Document Your Critical Business Functions For Disaster Recovery

Written by on January 19, 2016 in Process Management with 0 Comments

Are you prepared for an emergency?  Do you have a Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery Plan?

View the video or read the text below.

Are you prepared for an emergency?  Do you have a Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery Plan?

Many times the IT department has created an IT Backup and Recovery Plan but how about the day-to-day operations of your business?

Winter roadIn recent years we have seen an increase in the number of natural and man-made disasters that can paralyze business operations.  100 year floods that occur every couple of years, snowstorms and rainstorms that disrupt the supply chain, and mass shootings have all been in the news recently.

Could your business survive a serious disruption?  Do you know what your critical business functions are and have you documented them?

Critical Business Functions (CBF)

Critical business functions are those organizational functions and activities that must be continued under any and all circumstances.  If these business functions are not restored quickly, your business can be seriously impacted.

Some typical CBF’s include payroll, customer service, production, accounting and more.  These critical business and support functions are different for every organization and depend upon the type of products and services you provide.

CBF Documentation Process

Laptop with BindersBefore you can begin to document the CBFs, you need to know what they are.

  1. Identify all of the business functions in your organization. Create a spreadsheet which includes the following information:
  • Name of the business function
  • Business function owner
  • Brief description of the business function
  • Operations that support or depend upon this function
  • Fines, penalties or consequences of non-performance, if any
  • Legal liability or consequences of non-performance, if any
  • Loss of Good Will or image based on non-performance

You will find that this is quite a long list.  Since you can’t document everything and not all of your business functions are critical, the next steps determine priorities.

  1. Determine criticality. For every business function and activity assign a rating.
  • Critical: activities that must be maintained or restored within one week
  • Necessary: activities that must be restored within one month
  • Desirable: activities that can be delayed for the duration of the disruption
  1. Priority StampSet priorities. Sort your list and identify the most critical business functions to document first.  Even within your Critical Activities you will have ones that are more important than others.  Tackle the highest priority items first.
  2. Locate current documentation and review. Conduct a review of all of the process and procedure documentation for each of the CBFs on your priority list, answer questions like these:
  • Is the documentation complete?
  • How recently was it created or updated?
  • Has the process or tools changed?
  • Do you need to update or add additional information?
  1. Disaster Plan keyCreate and update documentation. Using the results of your analysis, ensure your documentation is relevant and up-to-date.  Be sure to integrate any disaster recovery planning into your documents.
  2. Share CBF documentation. It’s not enough to simply create the documentation, it’s important to share it with your disaster recovery planning team.  This documentation will be used not only in your day-to-day operations, but as part of your Disaster Recovery Plan.

If your team could use some help identifying and documenting critical business functions, give me a call or schedule a 30 minute needs analysis.  Even if you don’t use my services going forward, you will receive valuable information you can use right now in your documentation projects.

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