UW Emergency Management

October 26, 2018

Build Your Plan in a Year: Month 10

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.

At last you’re ready to make the finishing touches on your draft plan. You have identified your critical functions, prepared your staff at home, and addressed your equipment and space needs. Your final focus is ensuring that your most important asset—your people. In previous months we have identified staff and their roles, and trained everyone in preparedness at home. Now we take the last step of finalizing everything in your plan by ensuring you can keep doing your work no matter how severe an incident. The best part? Next month you will have very little to do—your plan will be “out for review.”

Month 10: Staffing in times of crisis

Total estimated time: 2 hours

Step 1 – Staffing Requirements (30 minutes)

In this section you will assessing each of your critical functions staffing requirements. This means rereading your “how to cope” and deciding on the smallest number of people to complete that task. As with all parts of your business continuity plan, you’re not thinking the number of people you need to do it efficiently or well, but the minimum you need to meet your absolute base requirements.

  • Navigate to “Staffing Resources” under “Key Resources” and select new requirement (this will appear in edit mode)
  • Choose a critical function and indicate how many full time employees (FTE) you require to complete the work right now. This wouldn’t be everyone trained to do the work, but the number of people who would be assigned to the task on a normal day.
  • Now consider how many FTE you would need to continue this function at the bare minimum during a crisis. Base this on your how to cope section.
  • Calculate the difference. APS 13.2 requires that you plan for a 25% reduction in staff. Based on the numbers entered, have you met this requirement for each critical function? Can you adjust your numbers at all?
    • If no, this is a great time for an action item. These can be added to any page by clicking “new action item” in the right navigation bar. Consider where you have staff completing deferrable tasks and plan to cross-train them to cover these critical functions.
Step 2 – Staff in other units (30 minutes)

Completing your critical functions is sometimes dependent not only on your own team, but the work of staff in other departments at the University. Capturing these people, and their contact information, in your plan ensures that if the person on your staff with the existing relationship does not have to be there to complete a task/critical function.

  • Navigate to “Staff of Other Units” under “Key Resources”
  • Choose “add worker” at the top of the page in edit mode
  • Add any worker in another unit who supports your work. Not sure who to include? Why not start with the UW Emergency Management Business Continuity Manager who will help you make your continuity of operations declaration to the University:
    Month 10 Step 2
Step 3 – Review with your team (1 Hour)

A plan is only useful if people are familiar with it—if they know how to find it, what it contains, and who is meant to implement it. We do this in a few ways: By giving access to everyone who needs to see it, asking people to review and provide comment, and assigning responsible parties by name. You did the last of these when you created your critical functions. For the rest, we will:

  • Navigate to “Manage Plan Access” under “Plan Details” (Available only to plan managers)
  • Add users to your plan and choose the appropriate access level. Viewers can read the plan but cannot make changes. Editors can make changes. And Managers can control access in addition to making changes. We have unlimited users in the system, so add whoever might need to read and implement your plan.
    • If the person you are adding to your plan does not pop up in the user list, add them to Husky Ready by clicking the blue plus sign next to the user search box.
  • Once everyone who needs access has it, ask them to review the plan and provide comment. Next month you will send it to UWEM for review, but that is a check for compliance and implementability. Only your own team can determine whether the plan, as written, will “work.” You might even consider sitting down for an hour to read through and discuss as a group to ensure awareness across the organization.