Today’s snow (and now ice) storm in Seattle is a great example of why you should have a Business Continuity Plan. You knew it was coming. The meteorologists started warning us days ago. It happens every year. Yet many businesses and organizations still find it to be a huge problem. What can you do about it?
If your organization is like most, it revolves around an absolutely critical resource – its people! In fact, try to run the place without them. With extreme weather events, you know your staff is going to be late and leave early, if they come in at all. The School District might surprise you and send your kids home after a few hours, like happened earlier this week. You need a plan to keep your primary business operations functioning, including:
- Inclement weather policies
- A communication plan
- Adequate VPN or other means for people to work from home
- Facilities, IT, field operations and other plans
- A single source for all this information
Even with an excellent plan in place, the timing of an event can still be bad. Scheduled client deliverables, bid openings and other schedule deadlines and milestones could be missed because the office is closed. You need:
- A contingency plan for issuing an addendum changing the bid opening
- To prepare your clients for potential delays by letting them know what to expect and what your plan is in case it happens
- A backup plan for meeting deadlines that can’t be moved
Follow us over the next few weeks as we outline the content of a Business Continuity Plan and how to prepare one for your business or operation. We’ll provide resources and tips for actually getting your plan completed.
Our agenda looks like this:
- Why you should develop a Business Continuity Plan, with useful views for bringing this initiative to management
- What should be included in your Plan, with a detailed outline and links to templates you can use to start your own Plan
- Who should be on your team and how to assign tasks
- Continuity policies and other details from sections of our own plan template, with sample language you can use (we’ll have several posts in this area)
As we move through this series, you should be able to develop your own plan or at least a plan for developing a plan. You have to start somewhere!
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