What is a business impact analysis checklist?
The Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is an important part of any business continuity process. It involves analyzing business-critical functions and identifying their effect on the company’s business. Business-critical functions are any processes that help achieve company goals and which would hinder these goals if abandoned.
A business impact analysis template is used to evaluate and document any potential negative effects of these processes. It measures the potential financial/operational loss and minimum recovery times in case processes fail. As part of Business Continuity Management (BCM), BIA is an important first step in prioritizing those areas that are important for planning.
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What should a business impact analysis template include?
The BIA should reveal any financial or operational losses which result from malfunctioning business processes. Some things to investigate are:
- Reduced sales and income
- Lost or delayed sales or income
- Extra expenses such as overtime labor, outsourcing, expediting costs, etc.
- Constant fines
- Contractual penalties or loss of contractual bonuses
- Customer dissatisfaction
- Refusal from new business plans
How should you prepare a business impact analysis template?
First, identify any risks to the company – usually by using a risk assessment. Once this has been done, a business impact analysis is carried out. This is so you can determine how risks affect specific business processes.
During a risk assessment, you assume that all business functions of the company are in the green zone, i.e. that the company is fully capable of growth and competitiveness and is financially sound. To stay in this zone, your BIA must identify external and internal incidents that could have a negative impact on business activities or disrupt organizational structures.
A business impact analysis checklist helps managers to draw up, validate, and modify plans for any crises. The BIA template should look like a questionnaire and be used for personal interviews with employees, as well as data collection.
You should also describe any incidents that might occur in your checklist. These incidents might include:
- The company building is destroyed.
- The disruption occurs at a time of high business stress.
- All technology, records, files and accessories are damaged or lost.
- Key personnel are unavailable.
- Primary business processes are affected for at least 30 days.
Describing these kinds of incidents help your employees imagine a real risk. This makes it easier to determine which business areas are significant to the company.
Tips for creating business impact analysis templates
It’s not always easy to create a comprehensive overview of potential business risks. A business impact analysis form helps create a basis for the process that everyone can understand. If you want to establish a business impact process in your company, you should always:
- Get the support of management:
Because BIAs are so important and time consuming, management support is necessary to ensure that project objectives are achieved.
- Take business impact processes seriously:
You’ll need a lot of time for data collection and analysis, so take your time and choose your data carefully. It’s more important to collect the right information than to collect a lot of information.
- Set a standard for BIAs:
There are many business continuity standards, but no universal standards for BIAs. Here, your company must set its own standard.
- Keep the BIA template simple:
Your business impact analysis template is the basis for collecting relevant information.
- Check the results.
As soon as you use your business impact analysis form to complete your surveys, review all results with the heads of the department.
- Stay flexible.
Business areas and processes change. That’s why you should adjust your template from time to time.
Digital software for business impact analysis templates
Lumiform’s mobile app helps you conduct business impact analyses faster. Each BIA template is simply filled out via tablet or smartphone – online or offline. You can use the desktop software to create questionnaires and later evaluate the data. This significantly reduces the risk of documentation errors.
Easy team communication allows you to improve internal processes and solve incidents up to four times faster. With Lumiform, you can react immediately to documentation changes.
Provide your on-site employees with the latest version of the BIA template, which guides them through all documentation processes. Clean, transparent documentation helps to find the right solution to incidents. In addition:
- All examination results are automatically bundled together in a report and can be sent to management instantly.
- Generate real-time data via internal processes, so you can measure business-critical functions. This makes it easy to create solutions based on the data.
- The flexible checklist builder allows you to keep updating your business impact analysis templates.
- The very simple operation offers no margin for error for inspectors on site. Filling Lumiform digital checklists is less complex than paper or Excel lists.
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