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Conducting a Business Impact Analysis
Dave Carlson - February 25, 2008

The following outline was extracted from a generally accepted practices (GAP) document prepared by the Disaster Recovery Journal Editorial Advisory Board and the Disaster Recovery Institute International (Yelland, 2007). This outline can be used as the basis for conducting a business impact analysis (BIA). A BIA should be customized for a particular organization.

  1. Executive Sponsorship
    1. Gain executive management buy-in.
    2. Request executive management communication to all involved in BIA initiative.

  2. Understanding the Organization
    1. Identify business processes and functions.
    2. Get executive management validation of your understanding of the organization.

  3. BIA Tools
    1. Design custom BIA questionnaire.
    2. Determine operational impacts over time of each process and function disruption.
    3. Determine financial impacts over time of each process and function disruption.
    4. Determine and maximize recovery time objectives.
    5. Determine both internal and external business dependencies.
    6. Determine central depository for BIA data.

  4. BIA Process
    1. Gather BIA information using the most appropriate method for the organization.
    2. Explain the purpose of the BIA initiative to all involved.

  5. BIA Findings
    1. Obtain appropriate approval for individual BIA results.
    2. Prepare an analysis of BIA results.

  6. BIA Approval
    1. Obtain executive management approval of BIA summary and recovery priories.
    2. Prepare a presentation to give to executive management. Ensure no surprises.
    3. Be prepared to discuss the next steps to keep BIA current in the future.

  7. BIA Life Cycle
    1. Determine BIA review and update requirements.
    2. Communicate BIA review cycle to management, as appropriate.
    3. Determine audit trail for updates and records retention schedule.


Yelland, L. (Ed.). (2007). Generally accepted business continuity practices: A look at business continuity best practices. A joint project of Disaster Recovery Journal and Disaster Recovery Institute International. Retrieved February 18, 2008 from http://www.drj.com/GAP/


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