Business Continuity Plan Template Guide: Ensure Stability | Wrike

Modern businesses face countless risks and challenges, and it is critical to have a business continuity plan (BCP) in place. A BCP helps an organization prepare for disasters, respond to disruptions, and recover in an efficient manner. In this article, we will walk you through a step-by-step guide on crafting the perfect business continuity plan template. Grab your notebook, and let's dive in!


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Understanding the importance of a business continuity plan

A BCP is a preventive and proactive plan that helps an organization manage its operations during emergencies and disasters. It involves identifying and assessing potential threats and hazards that may disrupt an organization's operations. The goal of a BCP is to reduce the impact of unplanned events and ensure that the business can continue its critical functions with minimal disruption. 

Defining business continuity

Business continuity refers to an organization's ability to continue its critical functions during a disruption, whether natural or man-made. This type of plan is a holistic approach that encompasses people, processes, and technology.

Identifying potential risks and disruptions

The first step of creating a BCP involves conducting a risk assessment to identify the potential threats and hazards that may impact the organization's operations. Risks can be categorized into internal or external factors, such as cyber threats, natural disasters, power outages, or supply chain disruptions. Once the risks have been identified, they need to be evaluated to determine their potential impact on the organization.

It is also important to consider the likelihood of these risks occurring and the potential consequences of not having a BCP in place. For example, a company that relies heavily on its IT infrastructure may face significant financial losses and reputational damage if it experiences a cyber attack or system failure. A BCP can help mitigate these risks and ensure that the company can continue to operate with minimal disruption.

The benefits of having a business continuity plan

A BCP provides numerous benefits to an organization, such as reducing downtime, minimizing financial losses, ensuring employee safety, and maintaining brand reputation. It enables the organization to respond quickly and effectively to a disruption, resulting in minimal business interruption. Having a BCP in place can also increase customer trust and confidence in the organization's ability to handle crises.

Another benefit of having a BCP is being able to easily identify areas for improvement in the organization's operations and later implement measures to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance overall resilience.

Lastly, BCPs hold organizations accountable, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Failure to comply with certain regulations can result in fines and reputational damage, along with endangering employees and customers.

Key components of a business continuity plan template

A BCP template includes several key components, such as a business impact analysis, recovery strategies, incident response plan, communication and crisis management, and training and awareness. Let's take a closer look at each of these components:

Business impact analysis

A business impact analysis (BIA) involves two major components: identifying critical functions (e.g., personnel, technology, and facilities) and their dependencies, and assessing the potential impact of a disruption on the organization's financial performance, reputation, and regulatory compliance. This analysis should be conducted regularly to ensure that it remains up-to-date and relevant to the organization's current operations.

Recovery strategies

Informed by the BIA, recovery strategies are a set of procedures that an organization will follow to recover its critical functions in the event of a disruption. These strategies include actions such as restoring data and systems, relocating staff, or outsourcing services to a third party until normal operations are restored.

Remember to document the recovery strategies in detail and have them regularly reviewed and updated. Also, take the time to test them periodically to confirm they are effective methods that can be implemented quickly in the event of a disruption.

Communication and crisis management

A communication and crisis management plan outlines the protocols for communicating with employees, stakeholders (including external ones like suppliers and regulatory bodies), and customers during a disruption. The plan should be designed to ensure that all stakeholders are kept informed of the organization's response to the disruption and any impact on its operations.

Training and awareness

It is important to educate employees on the BCP and conduct regular training to ensure that they are familiar with the procedures and protocols, along with their roles and responsibilities, in the event of a disruption. 

Overall, your program should include training on the BIA, recovery strategies, incident response plan, and communication and crisis management plan. 

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Step-by-step guide to creating a business continuity plan template

Business continuity planning is a critical process for any organization. Here is your step-by-step approach to creating a BCP template.

Step 1: Assemble a business continuity team

Assemble a business continuity team consisting of employees from various departments and functions, such as IT, operations, finance, and human resources. Because these staff members have an understanding of the organization's critical functions, they will be responsible for developing and implementing the BCP template.

Also, it is important that the team has the necessary resources and support to carry out their responsibilities effectively. This may include providing training and education on business continuity planning and ensuring that the team has access to the necessary tools and technology.

Step 2: Conduct a risk assessment

Next, conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to identify internal and external risks that may impact the organization's operations. The assessment should consider a range of scenarios, including natural disasters, cyber attacks, and other potential disruptions. It should also take into account the potential impact of these risks on the organization's critical functions. 

Step 3: Identify critical business functions

Once the risks have been identified and evaluated, identify the critical functions that need to be maintained during a disruption. Critical functions are those that are essential to the organization's operations and need to be restored as quickly as possible, such as customer service, order fulfillment, and financial processing. Remember to involve key stakeholders in the identification of critical functions. 

Step 4: Develop recovery strategies

Next, develop recovery strategies that outline the procedures for restoring each function in the event of a critical disruption.

Make sure to test and validate your strategies for effectiveness so they can be implemented quickly and efficiently. This testing may involve conducting simulations or other exercises to identify any gaps or weaknesses in your recovery strategies.

Step 5: Create an incident response plan

Craft a plan that provides details on how the organization will respond to an incident. Be sure that the procedures explain the processes for contacting the crisis management team, assessing the situation, and communicating with stakeholders, employees, and customers.

Also, this plan should include procedures for activating the recovery strategies developed in Step 4 to ensure a speedy and effective response to a disruption.

Step 6: Establish a communication plan

Develop a communication plan that outlines how to approach all stakeholders, employees, and customers regarding the disruption and the organization's response. This plan requires the presence of a crisis management team, which will be responsible for coordinating the organization's response to the disruption. Establish this team in advance, and have their contact information readily available.

Step 7: Train and educate employees

Train and educate employees on the BCP and their responsibilities so that they know what to do during a disruption. Regular drills should be conducted to improve the effectiveness of the plan, and all employees should participate, even those who are not directly involved in the BCP.

Step 8: Regularly review and update the plan

Regularly reviewing and updating the BCP template at least once a year is essential to ensure that it remains relevant and effective and that it reflects changes in the company’s operations, risks, and threats. 

It is also important to review the BCP following any significant changes to the organization's operations or infrastructure. This may include changes to key personnel, IT systems, or the organization's physical location.


A BCP is essential for any organization that wants to ensure business continuity during a disruption. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a comprehensive BCP template that will help your organization to prepare, respond, and recover from potential risks and disruptions. Remember to review and update your plan regularly and educate your employees to ensure its effectiveness.

Ensure your organization's resilience by crafting an effective business continuity plan template with Wrike. Start your free trial today and safeguard your business from unforeseen risks and disruptions.


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Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

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