Key Business Continuity Terms


Whether you’re new to business continuity or a seasoned professional, it can be challenging to sift through the jargon and terms that come with the role. To help you out, we’ve highlighted some of the key terms that will help you understand some things you should know to ensure that your business is prepared, protected and ready.

  • Contact List: this is your list of key people whom you need to contact in the event of a disaster or threat. It’s vitally important that this list be up-to-date, accessible and tested.
  • Crisis/Disaster/Incident/Threat: the event that requires you to put into place your business continuity plan. This event can be anything - a fire, a flood, a snowstorm, a bomb threat, a power outage, a contagious illness, etc. Typically an organization will identify the common or expected events that could interrupt business and have plans designed to respond to these business interruptions.
  • Exercise: during an exercise, you and your team test the business continuity plan you’ve put together. It is best to use a realistic scenario and to make sure that all aspects of the plan are tested including workplace communication, a meeting place, the ability to get up-and-running on time, etc. Typically after an exercise you’ll have to make adjustments to your business continuity plan.
  • Incident Report: sent by your employees to you and/or other key contacts and includes details on an incident, threat or disaster at your organization. The purpose of this incident report is to provide enough details about the situation so that you know how to act. A good incident report includes attachments such as GPS details, photos of the incident, and other details.
  • Loss: these are the business resources that you’re not able to recover after an incident. This can include customers, employees, supply-chain, buildings, reputation, contracts, and hardware.
  • Meeting Place/Safe Site: this is the designated location for your team(s) to meet during a disaster or threat. This meeting place needs to be clearly communicated well in advance. You may need multiple meeting place locations depending on the size of your company.
  • Workplace Communication: How you plan on communicating with your key contacts and employees. One way of doing this is with a mobile application or solution that you and your employees can use on any mobile device (phone, tablet or watch). This mobile app should allow you and your employees to understand the situation, know how to act and react, and how to communicate with another.
  • Outage: the amount of time that you’re not able to proceed with regular day-to-day business. The goal with any disaster or threat is to minimize the outage time. The longer the outage time - the higher the loss.
  • Plan: quite simply this is the plan-of-action you want your team members to follow. You can have multiple plans, one for each team in your organization. This plan should include details such as the meeting place, the alternate workplace location, contact numbers, maps, etc.
  • Push Notification: these are alerts or messages that are sent or “pushed” to your employees mobile devices. These notifications can include information about the disaster or threat, the actions to be taken, the location of the meeting place (including GPS coordinates), and contact information.
  • Recovery: the process of determining what was lost during the outage and then rebuilding your business. With a tested business continuity plan and workplace communication, hopefully this recovery process will be very minimal and simple.

Do you have some terms that you think should be added to our list - comment below!

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