What is business continuity planning?
Business Continuity Planning is the process whereby organizations ensure the maintenance of critical operations when confronted with adverse events such as natural disasters, technology failures, human errors, or terrorism. The objectives of a business continuity plan are to minimize loss to the organization, continue to serve customers, and maintain administrative operations.
The Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is executed after health, life, and safety issues are addressed. The Emergency Operations Plan address these issues via a structured process for emergency response.
Good stewardship requires that we understand and anticipate the events that could threaten our mission, and plan ahead so that our institution can recover quickly. Business continuity planning addresses that need. A business continuity plan describes:
Why is this important?
Any prolonged disruption of our teaching and research poses a threat to the education of our students and the research of our faculty. Hence a quick recovery from any disaster or disruption is of paramount importance.
Does business continuity planning focus on big disasters only?
Absolutely not. Disaster-readiness is good management. Many of the practices that prepare us for a large disaster also prepare us for lesser events. Proper backup reduces ALL data risks; a handy emergency phone list can serve normal needs as well as emergency needs; proper training and cross-training of staff are fundamental to daily operations.
Why do departments need to do this planning? Why not do one campus plan that covers everything?
Preparing for disaster requires the engagement of all levels of the organization. The continuity planning tool assists departments in general preparedness (computer backups, phone lists, etc.) as well as disaster preparedness. Hence, each department needs to complete their own plan. In addition, Departments frequently identify action items that are properly the responsibility of the campus leadership to carry out (and these action items will be forwarded upstream to become the responsibility of the administration).