What Is a Business Impact Analysis Checklist?
The Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is an important part of the business continuity process. This involves analyzing business-critical functions and identifying and quantifying the impact that their loss has on the company’s business. Business-critical functions are all those business processes that are important for the achievement of the company’s goals and whose failure in the short or long term endangers these goals.
A business impact analysis template is used to evaluate and document these potential negative effects on the company. It is used by management to measure the potential financial/operational loss and minimum recovery times of critical functional areas in case of failures. 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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Which Impacts to Consider in a BIA Checklist?
The BIA should DISCOVER the operational and financial impacts which came as a result of malfunctioning business processes. Some things to consider 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
Preparation of a Business Impact Analysis
First the risks of a company are identified – usually in a risk analysis. Once this has been done, a business impact analysis is carried out. This is intended to determine how the identified risks affect specific business processes.
For such an analysis, it is initially assumed that all business functions of the company are in the green zone, i.e. the company is fully capable of growth and competitiveness and is financially sound. For this to remain so, the BIA must determine which external and internal incidents could have a negative impact on business activities, disrupt organizational structures in the long term, and how to counteract them.
In this process, a business impact analysis checklist helps managers to define business professionals and to draw up, validate and modify plans for the crisis. The BIA template should take the form of a questionnaire, the interview character of which is used for personal interviews with employees and/or data collection.
It makes sense to integrate the description of an incident into such a business impact analysis form. Such a scenario could be:
- 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.
- The key personnel is partly not available.
- Primary business processes are affected for at least 30 days.
Such descriptions of incidents help the respondents to imagine a real risk. This makes it easier to determine which business areas are of what significance for the company.
Tips for the Business Impact Analysis Checklist
It is not always easy for those responsible for representing the sense behind a business impact analysis throughout the entire company. A Business Impact Analysis Form is a first step to 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 consider the following tips:
- Get the support of the management.
Because of the importance of BIAs and the time required for their analysis, management support should be sought to ensure that the project objectives are achieved.
- Take business impact processes seriously.
A lot of time is needed for data collection and analysis in the Business Impact Analysis with a checklist, so it is all the more critical for the later development of the plan. It is important not to collect a lot of information, but the right information.
- No BIA standards to be observed.
There are many business continuity standards, but no standards for BIAs. Here, the freedom lies with the company to define its own.
- Keep the BIA template simple.
The BIA template is the basis for collecting only the really relevant information.
- Check the results.
As soon as the surveys are completed with the Business Impact Analysis form, the results will be reviewed with the heads of the department.
- Stay flexible.
Business areas and processes change. For this reason, the BIA template has to be adjusted from time to time.
Create a BIA Checklist with Digital Technology
Lumiform’s mobile app reduces the time needed to capture responses and enter data. Each BIA template is simply filled out via tablet or smartphone – online or offline. The desktop software is used to create the questionnaires and later evaluate the data. This significantly reduces the risk of documentation errors.
Easy communication with all team members allows you to improve internal processes and solve incidents up to four times faster. With Lumiform, you can react immediately to changes in the documentation of processes.
On-site employees always receive the latest version of the BIA template and are guided by the system through all documentation processes. Clean, transparent documentation helps to find the right solution for incidents. But Lumiform’s digital solution offers many more advantages for the business impact process:
- All examination results are automatically bundled together in a report and can be sent to the management.
- Generate real-time data via internal processes. In this way, business-critical functions are made measurable, and solutions are continuously created based on the data.
- The flexible form construction kit allows you to react to changes at any time.
- The very simple operation offers no margin for error for inspectors on site. The app offers less complexity in documenting or filling out checklists than complicated paper or Excel lists.
- Keeping an overview of everything that is happening on-site by making all data available at any time and from anywhere.