Business Resumption Planning, Step by Step
DataSure Services 1-800-598-6831
We offer more comprehensive assistance in plan development, testing, offsite storage, and hot-site workstations a well as solutions for power protection and mass storage systems. The following step by step guide is based on information from the booklet: Business Resumption Planning, A guide, published by Emergency Preparedness Canada and SafeGuard

  1. List the major functions or activities of your business or organization. For larger organizations list the functions and activities of each unit, department, division branch, etc.
  2. Determine which activities are "time critical" business functions. Time critical business functions are services and activities whose continued operation is considered essential by management. Non performance would significantly impair the successful functioning of the business.
    Consider the following as they apply:
    - What functions would have to be done immediately after a business interruption? What could be postponed?
    - What are your external requirements on a day-to-day basis? What do you need from outside your business in order to continue to function?
    - What are your immediate internal requirements? Where do they come from?
    - How long can your essential business functions be inoperative?
    -Are there regulator requirements or penalties that must be considered if you cannot fulfil your obligations due to unplanned business interruption?
    -What is the financial impact of non-performance of a business function? How significant is the impact? Is it measurable?
    -What are the costs to respond vs.the short-term loss of revenue?
    -Are other organizations dependant on functions that your business performs? What are your external outputs?
    -What legal or contractual liabilities would arise if the activities were curtailed or shut down?
    -What would be the public relations implications of a curtailment of your activities or a shut down of your business?
    -Would the safety or security of personnel and property be jeopardized if your operations were interrupted?
    -Which of your essential operations are dependent on computer support? (WAN, LAN, Stand-alone) Are there alternative manual operating procedures in place with people who know how to use them? How long could these operations be performed without computer support?
    -Are there provisions for overtime for staff and for additional or replacement staffing?
    -List important clients and contacts internal and external
    -Identify essential operating information for vital business functions and prepare a checklist of essential records. Maintain copies of essential records off-site
    -Determine what essential office equipment is required. Specify any special computer hardware, software, databases, networks or other technology.
    -Identify your work in progress. Determine the work flow and business impact if the identified information and work in progress were destroyed and could not be recovered.
    -Identify any work in progress for your business that is being done outside your facility.
  3. Assign a priority to each of the "time critical" activities you have identified.
    e.g. assign a numeric scale of 1 to 5 to show the length of time an activity can remain disrupted.
    less than one day Priority 1
    2 -4 days Priority 2
    5-7 days Priority 3
    8-10 days Priority 4
    more than 10 days Priority 5
  4. Develop a planning objective for each activity. A planning objective states your goal for resuming each activity, specified to a level of service within a specified timeframe
    For example:
    -To staff essential or designated positions at an alternate site within 4 hours of the business interruption.
    -To have alternate information processing arrangements that will meet essential computer requirements within 48 hours
    -To be capable of answering 50% of incoming calls within one hour and 100% of calls within 4 hours of disruption.
  5. Determine the minimum needs for initial response. The ability to communicate with your employees, suppliers, customers, etc. is the key aspect to an effective initial response.Plan this aspect first. Then:
    -List essential information sources (operating instructions, manuals, databases) and alternate sources for this information.
    -list essential equipment needs (telephones, computers, etc.) and sources of alternative equipment. Have support services been considered?
  6. Obtain senior management approval of the essential functions, priorities and planning objectives you have identified.This important step gives senior management an outline of the plan being developed and an opportunity to confirm any of the previous risk management decisions as senior management may not be aware of the implication and liabilities they face if there is a prolonged business interruption.
  7. Delegate planning assignments to the staff who carry out the essential activities on a day-to-day basis.
    the people who perform a job on a regular basis are the best qualified to work on a business resumption plan that will allow them to resume essential activities following an unplanned business interruption.
  8. Write the detailed portion of the plan. Focus on the impact of the business interruption, not the cause. Each part of your organization must deal with what must be done to recover the essential activities if staff are incapacitated, information lost, facilities or assets destroyed or rendered inaccessible. Each section of the plan should stand alone.
    The plan for each part of your business and the final plan for the business as a whole should incorporate the cost of implementation in terms of personnel and financial resources.
    Your plan should also cover staffing requirements such as replacement personnel, extraordinary staff expenses and health and safety factors.
  9. Consolidate all sections of the plan into a business resumption plan for your entire business. The plans for each division, department, etc. should be assembled to form the business resumption plan for your business as a whole. The restricted and confidential portions of the plan should be protected.
  10. Communicate the plan to employees. All employees should be aware that a plan, authorized by senior management,exists. It should be explained, if necessary, in a series of information sessions, to the key employees that will be involved in implementing the plan after a business interruption.
  11. Store and keep copies of the plan in a secure off-site location away from your main office so it will not be impacted by the same event that disrupted your business operations.
  12. Test the plan.Conduct a test of the plan in a realistic fashion and with ample warning to all employees that the plan is being tested.If you don't test the plan you risk not having it work in a real emergency situation. The plan can be tested in stages, or levels ranging from the "table-top exercise" to a full scale simulation of a post-disaster situation.
  13. Review business resumption plan on a regular basis. Update it to reflect changes in activities, procedures, performance, etc.

For more information we offer the following resources:
Check List to help you decide if your business resumption plan is adequate.
DataSure Services 1-800-598-6831
DataSure Services 1-800-598-6831
Other DataSure pages you may find of interest include
our storage media page , Guide to Mass Storage or its constituent parts Optical Storage page and Magnetic Storage page,
DLT page , with links to ADIC Autoloaders and DLT, EXAbyte 8mm and Autoloaders and Quantum ,
our page regarding our participation in the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Conference on Mass Storage Systems and Technologies September 16-19, 1996 / March 23-26, 1998.
Introduction to HSM , DataSure's CD-R Page, Mitsui CD-R, TDK CD-R, Traxdata CD-R, Kodak CD-R, Pioneer CD-ROM and Optical Products, Yamaha CD-Recorders, and Elektroson Gear CD-R Software. web sites from over 100 manufacturers and developers, or
manufacturers page, Software Developers page and information organized by Operating Systems .
year 2000 page to address the y2k issues and solutions .

DataSure Services 1-800-598-6831
Thanks for investing your time to visit our web site. We value your interest and input. This page was last updated 
This page, and all contents, are Copyright ę 1994 -1999, all rights reserved by DataSure Services , Victoria, Canada. 
phone: 1-800-598-6831, or +1 (250) 598-6831,
fax: +1 (250) 598-6841 Local time is  DataSure Services
post: P.O. Box 42016, 2200 Oak Bay Avenue
. . . . . . Victoria, BC CANADA V8R 6T4
comprehensive protection for a universe of data . . . DataSure Services
DataSure Services 1-800-598-6831
home franšais espa˝ol client services y2k