Business Continuity and Project Planning Ideas for Managers

According to, natural disasters cost over $1.5 trillion between 2003 and 2013. Creating a business continuity plan with strong project management fundamentals can minimize your impact. Below are four steps to ensure smooth sailing, even during the roughest storms.

Identify Milestones

It's important to initially identify the core needs of your business operation. Isolate those tasks, activities, and tools that are most critical. For example, if your company produces a product, things like supply chains, production tasks, and distribution must be maintained. Reporting, publicity, and innovation could be delayed. While all of these factors are important to the long term strategy of your business, those core milestones must be prioritized to ensure business continuity.

Track Dependencies

Once you have identified your core milestones, you must ensure you understand any dependencies. Does one task rely on another? Is there a certain order in which activities must be completed? Using the example above, if your supply chain is interrupted and you do not receive the materials needed for production, you can't make your product. Therefore, the first priority is to make sure that any dependencies are addressed first.

Create a Business Continuity Plan

Now that your milestones and dependencies are clearly identified, you can begin to build a business continuity plan. Some companies, like Data Center & Colocation realize you should know what must be done and when it must be done to ensure your business is not interrupted. Next, you should complete a threat and risk analysis. In this step, you identify anything that might put your critical milestones or dependencies at risk. For every threat, create an alternative plan. This should involve resources, timing, and specific steps that must be taken. Plans might include alternate resources, additional tools, manual processes, or interim locations. If your supply chain is at risk due to flooding in the route, alternatives might include varying routes or adding multiple suppliers in different locations.

Conduct User Testing

Once the business continuity plans are complete, it is critical to complete thorough testing. offers several creative ways to stress-test your plans. What's most important is that they are regularly tested with as much realism as possible, without actually impacting your business.

Disaster will strike, it's only a matter of time. If your business has developed solid business continuity plans with a strong project management backbone, that disaster can be mitigated and your business will weather the storm.

About the author

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing.

When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and

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