UW Emergency Management

May 1, 2018

Build your Husky Ready Plan in a Year: Month 5

This post is part of a 2018 series breaking the process of business continuity planning for University of Washington departments into monthly tasks to help build a plan in a year

The past two months we have been looking your organization’s critical functions. Identifying and prioritizing the critical work of your organization, department, or unit, and addressing the ways to continue that work despite a major disruption is the whole point of a continuity of operations plan. That is why we are devoting this month to a review of the work that has already been done–and it’s short! This will give you a chance to consult with co-workers, reaffirm your assumptions, deepen your plan with the benefit of fresh eyes, and catch up if you have fallen behind.

Build your plan in the year: Month 5 (2 hours)

Step 1: Let’s do a gut check (1 hours)
  • The purpose of this step is to review what you’ve entered already and just see how it sits with your now that you’ve had some time away from it. Read through each of the critical functions you have populated and consider the following:
    • Does the level of criticality make sense? Now that all the functions have been populated, consider whether the criticality ratings reflect what must be brought online first to support the other critical functions.
    • Looking over how to cope, do any of these decisions you’ve made interfere with one another? Talk with the people who do this work each day–do they agree with the assumptions you have made and the processes you have laid out?
  • Based on what you intend to return to business, now is the time to determine staffing needs. On the “Staffing Requirements” tab under “Key Resources” you can identify how many people are needed on the day to day to complete a critical function, and then assign a bare-minimum staffing level. Note: The UW requires that your plan include an alternate staffing plan for when you have 25% absenteeism from normal staffing levels. To calculate this, we will look a the total of the column “FTE required during a crisis” and compare it to the overall total number of FTE you listed under “Plan Details”
Step 2: Updates based on decision making (30 minutes)
  • After filling in the critical functions, you may have discovered key skills, partners, equipment and systems you require to do your work that did not include on your first pass of these sections. Review the “Key Resources” for any information that may have been affected by the decision making you have made while crafting your critical functions.
Step 3: Prioritize your Action Items (30 minutes)
  • At this point, you have been creating Action Items for four months. Now is a good time to review them, identify which need to be addressed this year and which should be pushed into the future, and assign any of those that need to be addressed in the short term. Note: When you assign a task to a person, they will receive an automatically triggered email. Review each of your Action Items in the “Action Items Summary” under “Plan Details.”

This month is short, and mostly focuses on review, to allow you the time to catch up on the critical functions and devote the significant time required to think through the critical functions in detail. However, it is always best to remember that it is better to have the starts of a plan then no plan. We will review this plan each year and each year develop deeper and more thorough solutions.