What is business continuity planning?

Business continuity planning (BCP) is a defined approach for the prevention of and recovery from emergencies and incidents in a company. The most crucial element of a business continuity plan is how to protect the health and safety of employees while continuing to provide an acceptable level of service to customers. The priority of a BCP is immediate life safety and wellness for both employees and customers. The second priority is continuing business operations.

When should you use a BCP?

Companies employ a BCP in two types of instances: those that pose a threat to safety and those that pose a disruption. These instances vary in size, scope and complexity. A virus or a natural disaster constitutes a threat to safety, while a city-wide power outage constitutes a disruption. For example, a snowstorm may force the early closure of a contact centre to allow for employees to return home safely. In this case, there is minimal impact on employees; however, customers feel the effect of the snowstorm through increased call wait times.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an extreme BCP scenario, where the scope and complexity are enormous, and some considerations are being dealt with for the first time. A strong BCP plan, designed for a pandemic can substantially reduce the impact on employees and customers while creating a sense of control and confidence in a time of uncertainty.

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