Just as a builder wouldn’t begin constructing a house without a detailed set of plans to guide the effort, no organization should attempt to build a detailed set of business process recovery plans without knowing “what” business processes need to be recovered, and “when” each process must be recovered – that is, what the relative time urgency for recovering one process is compared to all other processes. Answering the “what” and “when” questions are the primary purpose of the Business Impact Analysis (BIA).
In addition to the core questions of “what” and “when,” the BIA typically also seeks to document some further information that is essential to the planning process, such as:
- Process interdependencies.
- Technology applications and services upon which a process is dependent, and manual workarounds that may be used (even if only temporarily).
- The existence of any vital records (either electronic or paper-based) that enable the process
What You Should Know
The Business Impact Analysis function is, in isolation, a very straightforward exercise. It is often complicated by “scope creep,” characterized by the inclusion of a wide variety of information gathering questions that do not directly support the core objectives of the BIA. Beware of adding unnecessary complexity (and cost) to the BIA process by accepting a BIA survey tool that gathers extraneous data.