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Preparing for disaster helps reduce the impact that unforeseen events have on an organization. The best plans prevent disruption from taking place by identifying important people, processes and equipment that keep a business running. Business planners focus on developing procedures that protect organizations from catastrophe and return operations to normal as quickly as possible.
Education and Skills
The majority of business planners have a bachelor's degree or a post-baccalaureate certificate before applying for this job. The minimum requirement for most business planners is a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as emergency management, business and public administration. Business planners need critical-thinking skills and the ability to make important decisions under stressful circumstances that require a rapid response. You also need excellent communication and collaboration skills and strong leadership abilities.
The Business Continuity Planners Association gives you access to resources and connections difficult to find elsewhere. The Business Continuity Institute has a certification training program that teaches best practices for business planners, preparing them to earn a certificate from the institute by passing a BCI examination. Earning certification and continually developing skills and connections through professional business continuity organizations increases your chance for advancement in the face of declining demand for business planners. Previous experience in emergency management with police and firefighters sets you apart for advancement in the eyes of potential employers.
Business Planner Duties
As a business planner, you collaborate with your peers to determine the best course of action in the event that a disaster or an unfortunate occurrence threatens the normal operations of your organization. This requires that you help colleagues develop recovery plans that enhance their ability to return to full capacity. Another important business planner duty minimizes the disruption of operations when calamity strikes by developing improved processes that are more resilient to upheaval.
Additional Duties and Responsibilities
Business planners help analyze the impact of disruptions and identify the most important issues when surviving threats. They develop and document plans for efficient recovery from disaster and coordinate training exercises to help prepare the best response from vital colleagues. Preparing business continuity reports for senior management ensures that all critical functions have a backup plan. Business planners also create procedures that protect and backup vital hardware such as data servers and communication systems.
- O*Net Online: Business Continuity Planners
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become an Emergency Management Director
- Business Continuity Planners Association: About BCPA
- Business Continuity Institute: BCI Certification Training
- Data Center Assistance Group: Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Job Descriptions
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Emergency Management Directors
Kent Tukeli has been writing for business and media organizations since 2007, including Valnet Inc., Top Affiliate Publishing and Mirvish Productions. He honed his skills at the University of Toronto, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.