BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN
& The Plan
Creating A Comprehensive Business Continuity Plan Prior To The Pandemic Made Adapting Easier
BY : KRISTEN HAMPSHIRE
ADDRESSING THE WHAT-IFS
Apandemic ? That rarely happens . What are the chances ?
When Deeley Insurance
Group sat down in 2017 to create a business continuity plan , they started with a boilerplate guide for dealing with interruptions like power outages and natural disasters . It was basic , but better than nothing . That initial plan served as a launchpad for a robust , customized continuity plan the team prioritized building in fall 2019 .
The timing couldn ’ t have been better .
“ If we had not taken the time to diligently work through our plan and update it , I believe we would have struggled with transitioning our team to a remote environment and communicating with the public ,” says Jennifer Powell , Deeley ’ s Operations Analyst .
In those early meetings , they often questioned why the “ pandemic ” portion of the plan was so lengthy . “ It seemed so unlikely ,” Powell relates . However , the new plan was extensive and explored a range of scenarios , hashing out procedures for managing four levels of emergency . “ Thank goodness ,” Powell says , “ we had the steps and procedures in place .”
A business continuity plan is essential for protecting your team from threats that are as everyday as a loss of electricity or internet connection and as complex as dealing with a tropical storm and global pandemic at the same time .
With a plan , you can adapt , innovate , and overcome .
“ What we do in the insurance industry is plan for the unimaginable ,” says Laura Deeley Bren , President at Deeley Insurance Group . “ You can be sure if you have a plan and stay flexible .”
A business continuity plan is insurance . It ’ s a matter of managing risk and putting tools and resources in place to address both the hiccups and the worst-case scenarios .
SET PLAN GOALS
Deeley began the planning process by considering what their plan had to accomplish . “ We knew we needed to elaborate on the boilerplate plan we had and customize it for our operations ,” says Matt Jones , Sales Manager , relating that the original document didn ’ t fully flesh out business interruption scenarios .
Ultimately , the plan needed to include “ exhibits ” to assure business continuity .
A – activating the plan based on four scenarios ( see Cover the Big 3 and 4 )
B – assembling a list of the staff ’ s personal contact information
C – aligning vendors for restoration and relocation
D – creating a communications plan for internal and external stakeholders
E – establishing a claims response procedure
Additionally , the leadership team identified these crucial success factors :
• Capability to implement the plan with and without warning
• Procedures to continue business operations in case of emergency
• Critical tasks that must be executed within 24 hours of an interruption
• Regular risk analysis of possible alternative operating facilities
• Continuing to develop , maintain , and review the plan and processes
COVER THE BIG 3 AND 4
When planning , Deeley took into consideration three key components : 1 ) human resources , 2 ) physical resources , and 3 ) business continuity . How would an emergency affect employees , customers , and the workplace ? What must be done to sustain operations if an event occurs that impacts any of these elements ?
The plan accounted for four scenarios : 1 ) a single event isolated to the facility lasting under two hours , 2 ) a single event isolated to the facility , 3 ) a catastrophic event , and 4 ) a pandemic .
ASSEMBLE A TEAM
Deeley established a Business Continuity Plan Assessment Team to regularly update procedures and huddle when an event occurs . They designate which team