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What is the optimum size for a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)? At what point should you decide that it has become too big and break it up into a number of smaller plans?

The BCI’s Good Practice Guidelines states that a BCP should be concise and easy to read, implying that it should not be too long. But how long is too long? Certainly less than 1,000 pages, probably less than 100, but less than 50? A straw poll that I’ve just taken from of a group of Business Continuity coordinators for a large bank has resulted in opinions thatv vary from 5 to 50 pages for the optimum size, with the favourite number being about 25.

Most large organisations have central Business Continuity Management (BCM) departments that provide a template BCP for each division, department, or site to use when producing their local BCP. Many of those templates are at least 25 pages long, and that’s before the actual plans and contact details have been put into the template! In other words, these central BCM departments seem to be ensuring that local BCPs are far larger than what is being regarded as the optimum size. Is this sensible? Maybe not, but it’s probably inevitable.


  1. Ours are about 20. But first 3 pages are standard title, contents , scope etc. I don’t think people will be able to take in much more really

    • Thanks Rob, I think you’re right. Once you get above 20 pages people start to find it too big.


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