Business Continuity Planning Process Diagram - Text VersionWhen business is disrupted, it can cost money. This section provides examples, templates and checklists which may be used during a business disruption event. Declaring the outage and agreeing on the appropriate time to initiate operations under the business continuity plan can be difficult and requires advance planning.
The following checklist may assist entities in considering issues when estimating the duration of a business disruption event. Explanatory material about declaring a business disruption event, as well as case studies about implementing the business continuity plan for the whole entity can be found on this page of the better practice guide. Remember - people may be referring to these plans under adverse conditions so they need to be straightforward and easy to read and understand. There are certain methods to creating a solid disaster recovery plan that every IT manager should follow.
Users can increase the efficiency of their processes through a host of business applications.
Proficiency in designing and evaluating exposures and the available response options, and developing appropriate plans for widely used enterprise risk management, business continuity planning, and disaster recovery frameworks and processes. The Disaster Recovery Guide is intended to be a launch pad for those seeking help with the business continuity planning process.
Recent experiences with natural and man-made disasters have heightened the awareness for emergency action plans in the U.S. Yet an Extension office can be the cornerstone of scientific and educational resources when it comes to emergency response; county educators often serve as that critical communication link for families, communities, and area businesses affected by disaster (Boteler, 2007). Business continuity planning (BCP) describes the ability of an organization, agency, or business to maintain critical functions of operation in times of uncertainty or organizational imbalance (Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, FFIEC, 2003).
The university selected an online software program, Living Disaster Recovery Planning System (LDRPS), in which all plans were created.
To ensure consistency throughout all county offices, project staff developed a curriculum to describe key terminology and processes that occur during emergency planning, including the primary reasons for implementing an emergency action plan.
Management and Leadership—Manages implementation of the plan by providing leadership to staff as they complete their assigned tasks. Two critical persons per county played a key role in plan development, the Plan Owner, who was the County Director, and the Plan Manager, who was a staff member designated by the County Director.
During Phase 1 the project team conducted a total of 10 educational workshops for Plan Owners. Following Phase 1, a formative program evaluation was electronically administered to each Plan Owner and Manager. Following Phase 2, a summative program evaluation was electronically administered to each Plan Owner and Manager.
Training for Phase 2 was conducted for 33 counties representing 89% of the counties eligible to advance to Phase 2 planning. The short-term outcomes were evaluated using a Web-based survey completed by Plan Owners and Plan Managers at the completion of Phase 1 training, with a 50% response rate. A second evaluation was administered to all Plan Owners and Plan Managers 2 years following the initial launch of the BCP project, with a 49% response rate. Through this experience, county staff identified several needs that were not in practice prior to this planning effort.


Third, the Plan Owner (county director) did not initially involve county office personnel in the BCP development process after participation in the training; they developed their office BCP document on their own as if it were an administrative function. The outcomes of this process, beyond meeting the needs for university compliance measures, were that emergency response plans were developed and implemented in county offices. It is therefore important to give clear guidelines on the declaration of a business disruption (business continuity event). The scope of this plan is to define the recovery steps in the event of a domain controller failure.
Another benefit for a county office to have a Business Continuity Plan lies in the efforts to recover business functions following a localized disruption.
Business continuity is particularly important for agencies involved in community emergency response.
In many cases, the Plan Manager was the County Co-Director when the county had such a position. Therefore, the recovery plan was based on a uniform prioritization of business functions throughout all 88 Ohio county offices. It contained primary business functions for which each county office had responsibility in Government and Media Relations, Human Resources, Fiscal, and Customer Service Communications. However, 41% reported completing a BCP plan took valuable time away from their programming efforts. After 2 years of annual testing and evaluation of the 88 county BCP plans, Ohio reported 76% of their county offices completed a BCP and were in compliance with the university recommendation.
First, the university-purchased software package was developed for business application and was difficult to translate to an organization like Extension. The technology of the program was beyond what was actually needed to produce this type of planning document on the scale needed by an Extension county office.
However the development and implementation strategies are described so that others can understand the potential challenges and opportunities when considering statewide business continuity plans. The need for Business Continuity Planning was implemented in Ohio as a statewide initiative for all university departments, including county Extension offices. Due to the fact that county Extension offices are included in many state emergency plans, it is imperative for field faculty and staff to be competent in maintaining certain functions and services during times of community distress. Likewise, other OSUE educators and office staff had limited to no experience with emergency or disaster planning as it related to their function or their work environment. Phase 2 developed a recovery process consisting of a business impact analysis in which recovery time objectives determined the priority for resuming various responsibilities within the county office. Each workshop was 2 hours in length, with the first hour devoted to learning the management concepts related to business continuity planning and the second hour dedicated to hands-on work in the participant's county office LDRPS account.
Plan evaluations were performed twice annually as well as upon request from the Plan Owner or Manager. This standardization provided staff with a step-by-step recovery plan to aid the decision-making process during anticipated stressful and chaotic times associated with emergencies and disasters.
Due to the turnover of county directors, the workshop began with a review of Phase 1 concepts in addition to the Phase 2 recovery of business operations.
Due to the turnover of county Extension directors, the workshop began with a review of Phase 1 concepts in addition to the Phase 2 recovery of business operations.
Having a quality business continuity plan increases county Extension offices' capacity to continue business operations during an emergency or recovery quickly following a localized disruption.


Proactive planning to address budget shortfalls: The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Experience.
This article presents Ohio's commitment to ensure emergency preparedness of its Extension county offices using business continuity plans.
Figure 1 depicts the Ohio Business Continuity Planning Program in the format of the Logic Model.
Within each phase there was opportunity for template development, educational workshops, plan testing, and evaluation. Once approved for advancement, the Phase 2 template was electronically attached to the eligible county plan. These plans were developed through NIFA Special Needs grants and published on the Ohio page of the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) website. Having a full-time state staff position designated to this project was also important for managing questions from Plan Owners and Managers. Therefore, recovery strategies for information technology should be developed so technology can be restored in time to meet the needs of the business. The worksheet should be completed by business function and process managers with sufficient knowledge of the business. Once all worksheets are completed, the worksheets can be tabulated to summarize:the operational and financial impacts resulting from the loss of individual business functions and processthe point in time when loss of a function or process would result in the identified business impactsThose functions or processes with the highest potential operational and financial impacts become priorities for restoration. The Business Continuity Resource Requirements worksheet should be completed by business function and process managers. Completed worksheets are used to determine the resource requirements for recovery strategies.Following an incident that disrupts business operations, resources will be needed to carry out recovery strategies and to restore normal business operations. Meetings with individual managers should be held to clarify information and obtain missing information.After all worksheets have been completed and validated, the priorities for restoration of business processes should be identified. This information will be used to develop recovery strategies.Recovery StrategiesIf a facility is damaged, production machinery breaks down, a supplier fails to deliver or information technology is disrupted, business is impacted and the financial losses can begin to grow. Recovery strategies are alternate means to restore business operations to a minimum acceptable level following a business disruption and are prioritized by the recovery time objectives (RTO) developed during the business impact analysis.Recovery strategies require resources including people, facilities, equipment, materials and information technology.
However, if all machines are lost due to a flood, and insufficient undamaged inventory is available to meet customer demand until production is restored, production might be made up by machines at another facility—whether owned or contracted.Strategies may involve contracting with third parties, entering into partnership or reciprocal agreements or displacing other activities within the company. Staff with in-depth knowledge of business functions and processes are in the best position to determine what will work. Prioritization of production or service levels, providing additional staff and resources and other action would be needed if capacity at the second site is inadequate.Telecommuting is a strategy employed when staff can work from home through remote connectivity.
Equipping converted space with furnishings, equipment, power, connectivity and other resources would be required to meet the needs of workers.Partnership or reciprocal agreements can be arranged with other businesses or organizations that can support each other in the event of a disaster. Periodic review of the agreement is needed to determine if there is a change in the ability of each party to support the other.There are many vendors that support business continuity and information technology recovery strategies. External suppliers can provide a full business environment including office space and live data centers ready to be occupied.



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