Putting together the right team to develop your plan and then keeping on schedule are important issues and each has the potential to derail your progress. Let’s break it down and map out a plan for how to proceed.
First of all, you need resources and authority to put the plan together. This means you need to start with support from the top. The leadership of your organization, whether the company President, CEO, COO, Board of Managers, or the Mayor, City Manager or a Director, represents the authority necessary to assign staff and spend valuable time developing the plan. Get this leader or group on board early. Outline what you need for a team; think about how much time you will need and be prepared to directly address any potential objections to this key investment in risk management.
Propose a plan outline and develop assignments based on the roles, authorities and skills of the people on your org chart. My earlier post http://versairegroup.com/developing-a-business-continuity-plan-no-3-in-a-series/ suggested an outline, so I’ll use that to identify the contributors you should include. Depending on the size and complexity of your organization, this could be a number of different people or a small group of folks that each wear several hats.
Introduction – This is a good assignment for the Project Manager charged with pulling the plan together. You may want some help from the CEO, COO or Operations Manager.
Essential Functions – This is about the core of the business and should reflect key involvement by the CEO, COO or Operations Manager.
Organization and Responsibilities – Because this section documents clearly written lines of authority, again, is a good assignment for the CEO, COO or Operations Manager. A pattern is developing.
Delegation of Authority – turns the previous section into a contingency plan by identifying alternate personnel and procedures. This is another assignment that stems from the CEO, COO or Operations Manager. This top-level contribution of the plan elements to this point provides foundation, and sets the stage for the rest of the plan.
Continuity Facilities – Your Office Manager or Facility Manager needs to be involved here, as this identifies alternate office space and facilities.
Communication – The Operations Manager should lead, but this section could include confidential information such as private telephone numbers and home email addresses and should be supported by Human Resources. Your IT Manager should help establish layers of communication methods to help improve reliability. Your organization may have a Public Information Officer (PIO), spokesperson, or other dedicated communication roles. You may also have staff members with expertise in social media, which could be very helpful.
Vital Records Management – Human Resources, Accounting, IT and the Facility Manager will likely all need to contribute to this section at some level to reflect the variety of types of vital records.
Human Resources – A key section for the HR lead, of course.
Test, Training, and Exercise Program – The Safety Committee, in whatever form it exists, should develop a program and schedule.
Devolution of Control and Reconstitution – This is the project manager’s assignment because it wraps up the plan and should direct how to restore normal operations.
How will you keep you plan on schedule? Start by setting a realistic schedule. Don’t expect to complete your plan in a few weeks. You might need several months or even a year, depending on your organization and the amount of time you can afford to commit to plan development. Whatever you choose, make specific task assignments with milestone dates and hold people accountable. The top-level support mentioned at the beginning of this post is critical to ensuring this important internal project gets the attention it needs – like an external client project. The value represented in risk reduction http://versairegroup.com/developing-a-business-continuity-plan-no-2-in-a-series/ justifies the effort.