KingsBridge Blog

The 5 Phases of Business Continuity Planning – Part 2

In our last post we reviewed the Prevention and Mitigation phases of Business Continuity planning.  This week, we are looking at the remaining 3 phases; Response, Recovery, and Restoration.

3 – Response

The Response phase involves planning the steps for immediate response to an incident (this might sound familiar if you have read our blog on the difference between Emergency Response and Business Continuity).  The immediate Response steps are concerned with ensuring the safety and protection of life, assets, and the environment.  This might include the development of building evacuation plans or shelter in place procedures.

4 – Recovery

The fourth phase is the Recovery phase, where most business continuity professionals focus a lot of energy on the initial development of the Business Continuity Plan.  Recovery includes all of the steps that are taken to continue business critical operations after an incident.  For example, if an office building sustains water damage and needs to be shut down for clean up and repair, one of the recovery steps might be enacting the work from home process for all employees.

5 – Restoration (Return to Normal)

The fifth and final phase of business continuity planning is the Restoration phase, also known as the Return to Normal phase.  Essentially, Restoration occurs when the business is brought back to normal operations.  There can be a number of different interpretations of normal, and many business continuity professionals will make a distinction between the ‘old’ normal and the ‘new’ normal, especially if the event had a significant human impact (such as the loss of an employee/colleague).  Steps to initiate the Return to Normal phase might include bringing those employees back into the office once their building has been cleaned up and re-opened.

Understanding the phases of Business Continuity Planning can help break down a seemingly overwhelming task into smaller manageable pieces – like the old adage of eating an elephant one bit at a time.   

About KingsBridge

KingsBridge offers private businesses and government organizations a unique combination of industry knowledge and cost-effective disaster recovery / business continuity solutions. KingsBridge SHIELD and Consulting provide the tools to assess possible threats and create tailored plans which mitigate risks and minimize losses in the event of a disruption to business.


The 5 Phases of Business Continuity Planning – Part 1

The Business Continuity planning process can seem overwhelming if you are looking at it for the first time.  There are subtle differences in terminology, lots of acronyms, and a number of different moving parts that can be difficult to keep track of.  In order to make the process easier to manage, the industry has broken it down into 5 different phases:

  1. Prevention
  2. Mitigation
  3. Response
  4. Recovery
  5. Restoration

These phases can help you keep track of what needs to happen and when.  For this post, we are focussing on the Prevention and Mitigation phases.  Response, Recovery, and Restoration will be covered in our next post.

1 – Prevention

The Prevention phase is concerned with steps that can be taken now to lessen the likelihood that a threat could occur.  To put this in context, organizations start the Business Continuity planning process with a Threat Risk Assessment (TRA).  During the TRA process, an organization might discover that they are at a high risk of fire because they are storing highly flammable chemicals next to a heat source.  By relocating those chemicals away from the heat source, they are lessening the likelihood of a fire occurring.

2 – Mitigation

By contrast, Mitigation is concerned with steps that can be taken to lessen the impact on the business when a threat occurs.  There are some threats that organizations simply have no control over, such as a power outage.  But, the impact of a power outage can be lessened by installing a generator or Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) to ensure there is no immediate data loss and critical operations can continue for the short term.

Both of these phases address steps that can be taken in advance of an incident in order to ensure a more efficient and effective response and recovery.  In our next blog, we will discuss the phases involved in planning for what is required when an incident actually occurs.

Check back soon to learn more about the Business Continuity planning process.

About KingsBridge

KingsBridge offers private businesses and government organizations a unique combination of industry knowledge and cost-effective disaster recovery / business continuity solutions. KingsBridge SHIELD and Consulting provide the tools to assess possible threats and create tailored plans which mitigate risks and minimize losses in the event of a disruption to business.


Stop Confusing Emergency Response with Business Continuity. Know the difference and know when to initiate your BCP.

Imagine the following:

You are sitting in your office when you hear the fire alarm go off. You sigh, look around you to see if anyone else is leaving, logout of your computer, and head toward the stairs to exit the building. Once outside it is evident that there is a problem; smoke is streaming from an upper office window and people on the sidewalk are taking photos, messaging family members and offering reassurance that they are ok. The fire department has pulled up, and ambulances arrive to assist the wounded. It takes an hour for the fire to be located and put out, then the building is cleared and the injured are taken to the hospital. It is obvious that no one is going back to work today; so what happens tomorrow? Or the next day? Next week?

A lot of businesses have difficulties sorting out the difference between Emergency Response vs Business Continuity when an incident occurs; this is why organizations should identify and understand this distinction in advance, and consequently know what emergency response services and stakeholders expect of them.

In a nutshell, Emergency Response focuses on the safety and protection of life, assets, and the environment, whereas Business Continuity focuses on continuing the operations of the business until it can return back to normal.

Many organizations use an Incident Flow Chart, similar to the one shown in Figure 1 below, to help assist them through Emergency Response steps and determine whether to enact their Business Continuity Plan (BCP).

Figure 1 – Incident Flow Chart
*ERMT = Emergency Response Management Team

All of the steps that take place from the time the incident occurs up to the point where the ERMT chooses to declare a disaster (the second diamond shape in Figure 1 – Incident Flow Chart) are Emergency Response steps. Only when an organization chooses to declare a disaster is the BCP enacted.

Some organizations might choose to declare immediately, given the extent of the damage that is evident. Others might wait for 24 hours to gather more information before making this decision. Regardless of when that decision occurs, there should be a previously identified standard that describes the guidelines for choosing to enact, or not enact, the BCP. It is important to remember, too, that while Emergency Response and Business Continuity are two different things, it is possible that some Emergency Response steps will be carried out at the same time as some Business Continuity steps, depending on the incident.

Not sure what to prepare for or how? Need software to help manage your business continuity plan or maybe you need some help getting your plan written or exercised? We can help. Find out more at

Why the new Shield 2.0?


If you’re an existing Shield user, you might be wondering why KingsBridge decided to give its Shield tool a face lift.  While Shield 2.0 might just look like another pretty face, there’s some amazing functionality going on behind the scenes to make your planning easier and faster.  If you’re new to Shield, or considering KingsBridge for your Business Continuity Plan, these updates are also pretty exciting.  Here are just a few of the features we’ve added:  

  1. It’s faster!  We’ve done a lot of optimizing to make core elements of your Shield experience faster.  Lots of data table edits to make?  No problem.  Giant databases to manage?  Simple stuff.  Think a browser based tool will have trouble? Not Shield!!  In just a few clicks your edits are complete.  Shield is optimized to limit the reloading needed between changes.
  2. Data tables are paginated.  No more endless scrolling to find what you’re looking for.  Slice and dice your data tables by 10, 20, or 50 rows per page to show you exactly what you want to see when you need to see it.
  3. Table column re-ordering.  Shield has a default Data Table Column order, but if you want to see the content differently it’s no problem!!  Change the order to whatever you need.
  4. Hyperlinking to Shield sections.  Tired of trying to navigate through complex websites?  Shield uses hyperlinking to take you to your next response step or critical document, making your tasks just a little bit easier.  
  5. Breadcrumb Trail.  Hopefully you don’t have to use your response plan frequently, meaning your users might not be really familiar with the plan layout.  To avoid unnecessary clicks, use the new breadcrumb trail to navigate back to where you came from with ease.
  6. Fully customized publishing.  Need a PDF of your plan but don’t want to include EVERYTHING?  Tired of selecting a million subcategories?  Publishing is now fully customizable.  Select as much or as little as you like and then with a single mouse click your PDF is created.
  7. All new Help Resources.  Shield 1.0 did away with the “manual” and introduced topic specific help videos for when you needed them.  In Shield 2.0 we’ve re-recorded all of the Shield Help videos as well as created step by step instructions for all the major functions of Shield.  Have a question?  Visit our support page at to find all the new content we’ve created for you.
  8. Groundwork for future features.  Our roadmap for future features requires a very secure foundation.  We took the time with Shield 2.0 to put down a strong foundation before we continue to move forward.  We use Shield every day for our consulting work and are always looking for better ways to complete repetitive tasks.  With the foundation work out of the way, we are building a whole new suite of tools to make your planning faster and easier!

We have spent a lot of time speaking to and working with our users to understand their needs.  Shield 2.0 represents their feedback and our best efforts to exceed the expectations of Shield – The Plan Builder.  Our goal is to continually deliver a product that makes your planning quicker, easier and more customizeable.

If you have features you’d like to see in Shield or would like to become part of our beta testing group, please contact us at  We’d love to hear from you.

About KingsBridge

KingsBridge offers private businesses and government organizations a unique combination of industry knowledge and cost-effective disaster recovery / business continuity solutions. KingsBridge SHIELD and Consulting provide the tools to assess possible threats and create tailored plans which mitigate risks and minimize losses in the event of a disruption to business.


The Essentials in Business Continuity Program Management

I was recently asked the question, “So we have this Business Continuity Plan.  All of the steps are documented, the contact information is confirmed, and the supporting documentation is up to date.  Now what?”  An excellent question!  And one that requires a little bit of explanation.

The Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is simply that; a plan to help your business continue operating when there is a disaster.  As my inquiring associate outlined, it should include everything your business needs in order to continue operations after an incident.  But there needs to be a structure in place at your business in order to maintain this plan.  Enter the Business Continuity Program.

The Business Continuity Program lays out all of the steps needed to make sure your plan will be implemented smoothly when a disaster occurs.  It includes a plan of action for:

  • Socializing the plan throughout your organization.  It can’t be implemented if people don’t know about it!
  • Maintaining the plan content.  The information in your plan is only as helpful as it is accurate, so it needs to be reviewed on a regular basis.
  • Training employees on their responsibilities.  Everyone at your business needs to know what to do – and what not to do – when the BCP is enacted.
  • Exercising the plan.  Ask your employees to sit down and run through the BCP in a hypothetical scenario (like a fire, bomb threat, or tornado).  Exercising helps to socialize and maintain the plan, as well as train employees on their responsibilities.
  • Auditing the plan against industry standards.  Different industries or countries have different requirements for their BCPs.  It is important that your BCP comply with appropriate standards to achieve a successful recovery.

This might seem like a lot of work when you are just starting out, so start small.  Start with drafting the schedule for how often each of these will be completed (quarterly, annually, or every three years).  Then determine how they will be completed.  In Part 1 of “BCP on a Budget”, it was suggested that standard evacuation drills can be used to do a quick exercise by asking employees what they would do if they could not re-enter the building for the day.  Other suggestions include socializing the plan by adding it to the agenda for monthly or quarterly department meetings, or including BCP responsibilities in employees’ job descriptions and performance reviews.

Regardless of the methods used, putting the time and effort into developing the Business Continuity Program now will save you and the organization from missteps if or when disaster strikes later.  


We hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to Business Continuity Program Management. Want to learn more about how to build a BC Plan and develop a BC Program?  Our software and services can help.

Find out more at