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Business Continuity Plan

Unlike the emergency operations plan, which describes the way the University will respond to an incident on campus that impacts our normal operations; the business continuity plan provides information and guidance on how to restore critical operations following a significant campus incident. As good stewards of Loyola’s mission, departments need to be ready to meet the challenges of any disruption by evaluating, mitigating, and planning their specific responses to a variety of possible scenarios. This preparation is known as business continuity planning.

SharePoint is a web-based tool adopted by the University that is used to store each department’s business continuity plan. This program will store disaster recovery information and materials that can be accessed quickly in order to return to normal operations as soon as possible during and after an emergency.

All campus departments are required to have a completed business continuity plan. Plans must be uploaded to the  SharePoint site (access restricted to BCP managers).

To assist offices with their Business Continuity Plan (BCP) development, we have created several resources to help.

  • Business Continuity Planning – FAQ – this guide contains a list of frequently asked questions to help your department develop a business continuity plan
  • Business Continuity Plan Template   – this is a template that will allow you to organize information so that you can input it into your department folder within SharePoint

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also has training available on Business Continuity/Continuity of Operations planning:

  • IS-547.a Introduction to Continuity of Operations  

If you have questions or need information on how to create your BCP or upload it to SharePoint, please contact Tom Hettleman in Environmental Health & Safety at extension 1120 or [email protected] .

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Business continuity focuses on planning efforts that keep Harvard’s critical functions operational during and after disruptive incidents. It connects the emergency response and recovery phases in the emergency management cycle.

Proper business continuity planning improves Harvard's chance of minimizing losses from interruptions by keeping business like teaching and research running.

Schools and departments can use our central tools, templates, applications, and support to help develop their own business continuity program and plan.

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Business Continuity Plan

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Because disasters can routinely impact institutions of higher learning, representatives from the UGA Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) and UGA Enterprise Information Technology Services (EITS), have been involved in emergency planning and disaster recovery planning in conjunction with local, state, and federal emergency planning and response agencies. However, the overall ability of the University to respond appropriately to a large-scale or extended emergency will also depend on the readiness of individuals and departments within the University of Georgia to respond appropriately. Therefore, to aid departments in their planning efforts, OEP is providing this planning tool to guide departmental discussions and planning efforts to address threats and emergencies that could have larger impacts in the community and on campus.

Business continuity and disaster recovery planning is an integral part of the University’s comprehensive emergency planning efforts. The BCP will adhere to an “all-hazards” approach to emergency planning. Due to UGA’s size and scope, BCP planning must also be done by each UGA department to ensure continuity of operations at every level on the campus.

The Office of Emergency Preparedness recognizes that emergency planning creates a burden for University departments. However, readiness at each level within the University is critical for successful management of large-scale emergencies. Although it may be necessary to make adjustments in departmental plans as new information is received and incorporated into the overall UGA Emergency Response Plan and the UGA BCP, it is important for departments to periodically review and make any changes to their BCP.  The goal of this planning exercise is to help departments consider the many issues they may face and then augment as appropriate for individual departments.

Decisions regarding UGA closings, travel restrictions, payroll implications, recommended personal protective equipment, etc. will be made at the Institutional level. However, other decisions (i.e. the care of laboratory animals, securing research projects, telecommuting assignments for departmental personnel, online instruction, etc.) will most likely be left to individual departments. Therefore, your department’s BCP should include responses to these and other issues specifically affecting your department.

The completed BCP should be used to educate faculty, staff, and students within each department about the department’s business continuity and emergency preparedness procedures. Steps should be taken to validate planning efforts with drills or exercises as the departmental plan evolves. Please note that completion of this planning tool does not constitute an “official” and final business continuity plan for the department. Continuous updates and revisions will be necessary as new information becomes available. Access to the completed written document should be restricted to authorized personnel who will need the information during an emergency event that warrants activation of your Business Continuity Plan.

Do not post the completed document on the Internet, or for public review, since it may contain sensitive information.

BCP Registration / Plan Updates

If you are a first-time BCP user or if you are registering for access to a new department, register here . You will register under the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) link on the landing page.

screenshot of the business continuity plan registration page - step 1

After you are registered and approved by OEP, you will receive an email informing you of your approval. You can then access your department’s BCP online tool generator .

Screenshot of the business continuity plan registration page

Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Checklist

The following checklist identifies specific activities and suggestions to help departments in their continuity of operations planning efforts in order to resume departmental operations as quickly and efficiently as possible during and after an emergency that interrupts operations.

  IMPACT OF SERVICES : PLAN FOR THE IMPACT OF DEPARTMENTAL SERVICES:

  • Coordinate the development of the departmental Business Continuity Plan
  • Act as liaison between various departmental and university units
  • Coordinate departmental efforts during recovery
  • Assign an alternate BCP coordinator to serve as a backup and assist the BCP coordinator
  • Consider assembling an internal departmental continuity committee to gain input regarding the development of the BCP Plan.  Some individuals you may want to consider include your department head, assistant department head, an IT professional, and a representative from your department’s human resources or business services.

CONTACT INFORMATION

  • Plan for a notification method for contacting departmental employees, university units, vendors, students, as well as other contacts needed to continue departmental operations. For example, use a phone tree, create a departmental contact list, develop an email list-serve.

MISSION CRITICAL DEPARTMENTAL FUNCTIONS / SERVICES

  • Determine which departmental functions are mission-critical. Decide which processes need to be maintained or restored first to keep the departmental services and functions running. Then prioritize these services.
  • Determine an alternate recovery process for temporary recovery and for normal recovery
  • Determine the impact should there be a loss of essential / critical departmental functions / services / processes. Also, consider both monetary and non-monetary outcomes. These should be measured with respect to safety, compliance, property loss, fines, legal, and loss of critical services.

DATA AND TECHNOLOGY NEEDS

  • Develop a technology plan to determine which mission-critical data and technology components (both hardware and software) would be needed to recover documents, information, and research in the event of disruption of services. (Refer to UGA  Information Security’s link:  http://eits.uga.edu/access_and_security/infosec/pols_regs/policies/bcpdrp  for more information.)
  • Assess how quickly and accurately services can be restored. Perform a data recovery test, if possible.
  • Determine the effectiveness of the department’s data backup policies and procedures and who is responsible for maintenance of this documentation.

DEVELOP THE DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN

  • Determine necessary resources, facility and infrastructure requirements, as well as equipment and supplies needed for recovery of  mission critical departmental services and functions

COMMUNICATE THE PLAN

  • Provide access to the BCP to appropriate personnel. Be sure to also share evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures with department employees and students.

TEST AND MAINTAIN THE PLAN

  • Test the BCP upon completion and update it annually to ensure information is accurate. Be sure that any sensitive information in the BCP is securely stored.
  • BCP stands for Business Continuity Planning, or the practice of planning how your department will provide services or conduct departmental business during or after an emergency or disaster that may have both short-term and long-term consequences.
  • Developed by OEP, the BCP Tool Online Plan Generator is an easy and efficient web-based method to create a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). After department team members complete eight user-friendly sections, the system will automatically generate a department-specific BCP.
  • Department leads for continuity planning using a valid UGA MyID and password, can log into a secure link to request access to the BCP Tool: https://busfin3.busfin.uga.edu/oep/prepare_login.cfm .  Once your request has been reviewed, you will receive an email with a link to the BCP Tool which can be accessed with a valid UGA MyID and password.
  • Yes, upon login, registered BCP Tool users will be able to enter and edit each section of the BCP online plan generator as needed to view, edit, or complete their plans.
  • Upon completing the BCP, the program will automatically send OEP an email that the plan has been completed. After OEP has reviewed all sections in the BCP, team members connected with that department will receive an email from OEP with feedback/instructions related to the completed BCP.
  • The system will automatically create an annual email reminder to team members connected with a specific department that it is time to update their BCP.
  • Department Business Continuity Team members and their contact information
  • Essential services for your department and the individuals responsible for those services
  • Supplies, equipment, and materials needed to support essential department services
  • Critical department communication and IT services and the individuals responsible for those services
  • Individuals who manage vital departmental records and their contact information
  • Departmental emergency preparedness educational efforts
  • Departmental Pandemic plans
  • Training and testing of Departmental BCP’s

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Business Continuity Planning

Departmental business continuity plan template.

Departmental Business Continuity Plan Template (DOCX)

Introduction

Plan structure and operation, crisis communication plan, critical operations, determining your critical operations, risk assessment of threats.

  • Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

Policy and Objectives

Review and maintenance.

The safety and security of students, faculty, staff and the entire Pace Community is a top priority of the University’s leadership, and is an integral part of our commitment to excellence. Recognizing the increased risks of the world today, Pace University has enhanced its preparedness to respond to emergencies of all hazards by upgrading and integrating the various emergency response and disaster recovery plans that have been in place for the University’s critical operations, and by developing a comprehensive pre- through post-emergency response plan covering all campuses and operations of the University.

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a collection of resources, actions, procedures, and information that is developed, tested, and held in readiness for use in the event of a disaster or major disruption of operations. The objective of the Business Continuity Plan is to establish policies, procedures, and coordinate recovery of critical University functions. This plan will increase the University’s ability to respond to and recover from emergencies that may threaten the health and safety of the Pace Community or inhibit the University’s ability to continue its operations.

A comprehensive business continuity plan will help you maintain your central business activities while limiting the economic impact and allowing you to return to normal operations as quickly as possible. Each division and/or department responsible for performing one or more critical functions will develop a departmental business continuity plan and establish a structure to administer, update, and implement the plan. The intent is to minimize the amount of disruption any future emergency may cause to the department’s critical functions. This is accomplished by:

  • Establishing an administrative structure within the department to deal with future emergencies.
  • Investigating and preplanning appropriate responses to various types of potential emergencies.
  • Identifying and implementing changes to current operating procedures that will reduce the department’s susceptibility to disruption from certain types of emergencies.
  • Coordinating the department’s Business Continuity Plan with the plans of other departments that either provide services to or require services from the department.
  • Formalizing the department’s Business Continuity Plan in written form.
  • Maintaining a high level of knowledge and preparedness within the department’s plans for continuing operations during emergencies.

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The mission and priorities of the University are protection of life, stabilization of the event, protection of the University environment, protection of University property, and restoration of critical services, including education and research programs.

The mission of every department is different. In order to accomplish their mission, each department must ensure operations can be performed with minimal disruptions during an emergency incident. The Business Continuity Plan ensures that the department has the capabilities to execute the mission’s essential functions as well as implement emergency support functions.

The overall goal is to ensure that all departments and business units of the University are prepared to rapidly restore critical functions in the aftermath of any emergency or disaster. Critical functions are those required to enable, support, and implement the safekeeping of our students, staff, and visitors and facilitate the resumption of academic, research, and administrative programs at Pace after an incident.

Departmental BCP Goals:

  • Prepare the department for recovery
  • Determine your critical functions
  • Facilitate communications at all levels
  • Identify your resource and personnel needs for normal operations
  • Reduce vulnerabilities

Each department's Business Continuity Plan has three main components, each of which deals with separate but inter-related aspects of any emergency situation. These components are:

  • Business Continuity Policy and Procedure | Activities, including substantial pre-planning and recovery efforts, aimed primarily at assuring that all critical functions and operations continue to be performed during and after any emergency situation.
  • Risk Assessment and Business Impact Analysis | Assessments based on worst-case scenarios to determine impacts of critical functions caused by disaster situations.
  • Testing and Review | Instructing all personnel on plan basics (communication, meeting place, priorities, etc), and evaluating competencies through tabletop exercises, drills, and simulations as part of campus testing initiatives.

The following objective of this plan are to:

  • Undertake risk management assessment
  • Identify and prioritize critical business functions
  • Detail immediate response to critical incident
  • Detail strategies and actions to be taken to ensure the continuance of operations

The Department of Emergency Management works with other University departments to ensure that the right people are notified at the right time in times of emergencies, disasters, and crises. The internal crisis communication plan should provide procedures for the coordination of communications within the department and among other University partners, while the external crisis communications plan should provide procedures for the coordination of communications with media and other outside organizations (including vendors) in the event of an emergency or other critical event

Internal Communication Plan

Describe how your department’s faculty, staff, student workers, and other workers will communicate with one another in the event of a disaster. Methods used include a ‘phone tree’ (include information or link to file with details); email; instant messaging; web pages; telephones; among others. All faculty and staff should update their personal information (address, phone numbers, etc.) on Pace Directory .

External Communication Plan

Describe how your department’s faculty and staff will communicate with external stakeholders (students, customers, parents, state officials, contractors, etc.) in the event of a disaster. Methods used include; email; instant messaging; web pages; telephones; among others. Please remember that all contact with the media will be coordinated by the Public Affairs office within University Relations.

Critical operations of each department can be severely impacted during emergency incidences. In order to become resilient, the risk management planning section outlines threats that may affect the overall operations of the department. The identification and analysis of the risks that may have an adverse effect on departmental functions are important to reduce or eliminate potential hazards.

The Business Continuity Plan outlines what the department believes are critical functions, how impaired functions can impact the department and in what ways, and lists preventive and contingency plans for each.

A major part of business continuity planning is identifying functions that define your operations. These are called critical operations . Critical operations are those services, programs, or activities that are necessary to on-going business of your department and would directly affect the success of your department if they were to stop for an extended period of time. The success of your department and the support you provide to the University rely on these functions. Stopping them for an extended period of time would cause an unacceptable disruption to your operations and possibly other departments or units as well.

Your essential operations will serve as your guide for how to restart your operations following a disaster or major disruption. They help answer the question “What is the minimum level of service or activity my department must offer to still be in business?” By identifying and prioritizing your essential functions, you can determine which personnel, facilities, equipment, and materials are absolutely necessary to keep your department functioning following a disaster or major disruption. One way to determine your essential operations is to look at your department table of organization. This should help your identify the general functions that you preform.

Asking each staff member to make a list of their essential duties and responsibilities is another way to determine your essential operations. In general you should be able to organize your functions into four to six essential operations, more if you are a highly complex department or unit. If your list of functions is long, consider grouping similar activities into a single function. Example: General Office Management can include all administrative tasks. Manage ITS can include all IT tasks such as updating your website and troubleshooting computer issues.

Priority Rating: Critical Importance: Operation directly impacts the life, health, safety, or security of the Pace community and stopping would have significant consequences. Max. Allowed Recovery Time: < 4 hours

Priority Rating: High Importance: Operation must continue at normal or increased level. Pausing for more than 24 hours may cause significant consequences or serious harm to business operations, upstream and downstream dependent organizations or units, revenue and finances, reputation, or other core mission services Max. Allowed Recovery Time: < 24 hours

Priority Rating: Medium Importance: Operation must be continued if at all possible, perhaps in reduced mode. Stopping for more than one week may cause major disruption to business operations, upstream and downstream dependent organizations or units, revenue and finances, or other core mission services. Max. Allowed Recovery Time: < 1 week

Priority Rating: Low Importance: Operation could be suspended for up to one month without causing significant disruption to business operations, upstream and downstream dependent organizations or units, revenue and finances, or other core mission services Max. Allowed Recovery Time: < 1 month

Priority Rating: Deferable Importance: Operation may pause and resume when conditions permit. Deferring this function for more than one month may cause slight disruption to business operations, upstream and downstream dependent organizations or units, revenue and finances, or other core mission services Max. Allowed Recovery Time: > 1 month

Critical Operations General Examples:

  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Registration
  • Athletic Game Operations
  • Course Instruction
  • Dining Operations
  • Housekeeping and Utilities
  • Critical Research

Business Impact Analysis

Business impact analysis (BIA) assist management in identifying critical functions that are essential to the survival of the department. BIA evaluates how quickly a department can return to full operation following a disaster situation. BIA also looks at the type of resources required to resume business.

BIA assumes the worst-case scenario such as infrastructure damage, destruction of records and equipment, absenteeism of essential employees, the inaccessibility of the site for weeks or months. The objective of the BIA is to help departments estimate financial impacts, intangible operational impact, and estimates the recovery time frame.

Risk assessment of threats involves evaluating hazards relating to man-made and natural disasters and recognizing their potential effects. This can assist the department in taking measures necessary to ensure the continuity of business.

Four overall risks to address:

  • Loss of infrastructure including power and communications
  • Loss of a building
  • Loss of personnel
  • Loss of location – you can’t access a portion of, or the entire campus

The purpose of the each department's policy and procedure is to formalize a plan that establishes policies, procedures, and an organizational structure for response to emergencies. The plan identifies clear strategies and roles and responsibilities of various staff members during the initial response and throughout the emergency. Nothing in this plan shall be construed in a manner that limits the use of good judgment and common sense in matters not foreseen or covered by the elements of the plan. The plan and organization shall be subordinate to State and Federal plans during a disaster declaration by those authorities.

Maintenance is always required to ensure plans work. It is suggested that you do the following tasks to make sure your department's BCP is always current:

  • Update communication lists quarterly
  • Update overall plan annually
  • Update BCP after a test (drill, tabletop, etc.) or emergency
  • Update BCP when external or internal factors change

Departments should train all personnel on plan basics, such as communication plans, meeting places, priorities, etc. Different ways to train employees include meetings, tabletops, drills, seminars, workshops, and simulations. These trainings should all be recorded in the department's BCP.

Seminar A seminar is an informal discussion, designed to orient participants to new or updated plans, policies, or procedures (e.g., a seminar to review a new emergency communication procedure).

Workshop A workshop resembles a seminar, but is employed to build specific products, such as a draft plan or policy (e.g., a Training and Exercise Plan Workshop is used to develop a Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan).

Tabletop A tabletop exercise involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting. TTXs can be used to assess plans, policies, and procedures.

Drill A drill is a coordinated, supervised activity usually employed to test a single, specific operation or function within a single entity (e.g., a fire department conducts a decontamination drill).

Simulation A simulation is a practice activity that places participants in a simulated situation requiring them to function in the capacity expected of them in a real event

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Business Continuity is the term used for the process of keeping critical functions operational during an emergency and/or restoring them quickly after an emergency to minimize disruption to teaching, research and serving the BC community. This process involves planning for, mitigating against, responding to and recovering from all types of hazards that could adversely affect the University, regardless of the nature of the hazard.

A major storm, earthquake, power failure, water main break, hazardous materials accident, structural failure or fire could damage buildings and/or campus for days, weeks or months which would interrupt activities of those in the affected departments. A disease outbreak could also impact employees and their ability to conduct business.

Boston College has a group of Department Business Continuity Planners responsible for the development, training, testing and maintenance of department’s business continuity plans.

Business Continuity is a continual process as emergencies can and do happen anytime and anywhere, hazards constantly change and personnel come and go over time. In order to maintain a successful Business Continuity Program, it is imperative to review, update and practice plans so they are fresh and ready to go at any time.

Departments with well-developed, up-to-date and practiced Business Continuity Plans strengthen the overall University’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and emergency preparedness by contributing to the safety of employees and students and building resilience for the University in the event of an emergency.

To assist with the Business Continuity mission, Boston College has developed an online application to help Department Business Continuity Planners develop and update their plans. If you are a Business Continuity Planner for your department, you can access the application by visiting www.bc.edu/continuity . If you have questions about the Business Continuity Program, need access to the system or need help developing or testing plans, please contact John Tommaney at john.tommaney@bc.edu .

BC Resources

  • BC Business Continuity Policy
  • Business Continuity Online Planning Application
  • Business Continuity Online Application User Guide
  • Business Continuity Orientation Presentation
  • Sample Business Continuity Plan
  • Roles and Responsibilities for Business Continuity Planners and Teams
  • Preparedness Considerations for BC Administrators, Department Heads and Supervisors
  • Preparedness and Business Continuity Considerations for BC Science and Research Areas

External Resources

  • Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII)
  • Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety: Open for Business
  • FEMA Independent Study Courses:
  • Continuity of Operations Awareness
  • Introduction to Continuity of Operations

For other independent study courses on continuity planning and emergency preparedness in general, visit: the FEMA Emergency Management Institute website at www.training.fema.gov/IS/

Emergency Management

Business continuity planning.

Yale University’s mission is to create, preserve and disseminate knowledge. Each college, division, and major administrative unit within the University exists in support of this mission. Each area performs functions that are essential to the ongoing success of the University.

Business Continuity Planning is the process of developing prior arrangements and procedures that enable Yale to respond to a disaster or major disruption of operations in such a manner that critical and essential business functions can continue with minimum disruption or down time.

A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a collection of resources, actions, procedures, and information that is developed, tested, and held in readiness for use in the event of a disaster or major disruption of operations. A BCP helps prepare Yale departments and organizations to maintain essential functions after a disaster or disruption. Having a business continuity plan will minimize the impact of a disaster and help you return to normal operations as quickly as possible.

Developing a Business Continuity Plan

The following video, along with the Quick Start Guide, explains the basic concepts of a business continuity plan and the steps to take to develop a plan for your department or unit.

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Best Practices in Business Continuity Planning for Higher Education

  • by Tanecia Jackson on October 01, 2020
  • last update on May 24, 2023
  • Reading Time: 4 minutes

Business Continuity for Higher Education

Higher education has taken the brunt of COVID-19 . As classes transitioned to the online medium and campuses emptied, universities were left to find new ways to improve current and future operations. Inevitably, business continuity for higher education institutions is now a much-discussed topic among university boards.

Playing the role of microcities, universities embrace a wide array of functions that are often deeply ingrained into local communities, the economy, and the healthcare system. Bearing that in mind, universities need to develop comprehensive business continuity plans to ensure their own short-and long-term welfare and the stakeholders’ .

Here are the best practices in business continuity planning for higher education institutions.

Prepare a Special Task Force

Establishing a special task force is critical to respond to any crisis effectively—the task force steps in when a disaster situation requires a swift and decisive response.

The task force should consist of multidisciplinary professionals. Distributed across specialist work teams, these professionals use their expertise to define the scope of a disaster and design a mitigating plan, both short- and long-term .

The work teams in a task force are led by an integration team, which manages and coordinates the work of those teams.

Example of work teams that could be included in a special task force:

  • Finance and legal
  • Faculty and staff
  • Teaching and research
  • External communications
  • Internal communications
  • Campus operations

Note : The exact combination of work teams depends on the size of the institution and the range of its operations.

Develop a Comprehensive Communication Plan

With multiple stakeholders involved in the operation of every university, a communication plan will help address the uncertainties that are bound to amount during a crisis.

It’s important to have regular communication with all stakeholders. A communication plan should have directions and steps for various scenarios (even those unlikely ones). The goal of every communication plan is to:

  • Provide reassurance
  • Give accurate information regarding the crisis
  • Describe mitigating actions that the stakeholders should take

Note : Use secure and collaborative communication tools to help key decision-makers act swiftly. Consider video conferencing for a more engaging experience.

Account for Financial Issues

A plan of action regarding the financial situation of a higher education institution is one of the key elements of a business continuity plan.

You should develop both short- and long-term plans with potential financial consequences and solutions across different scenarios.

Specifically, you should prepare for:

  • A COVID-19 outbreak on campus and the funds necessary to continue operations
  • Stockpiling supplies (incl. services and equipment)
  • IT cybersecurity needs to support social distancing while delivering online classes
  • Potential staff reduction and the necessity to support critical staff

Collaborate and Partner with Other Institutions

The COVID-19 crisis has affected higher education institutions across the whole globe. This opens up a wide range of collaboration opportunities between institutions .

These collaboration efforts could include:

  • Exchange of information to facilitate crisis response and risk management
  • Creation of strategic partnerships to support initiatives (e.g., online learning)
  • Repurposing campus space to aid the government in the fight with the crisis

Safeguard the Health and Well-Being of the Vulnerable

Some students might lack the resources to participate in online learning. The transition to online coursework could also result in a greater discrepancy between students who struggle academically and those performing well.

There can also be students for whom a return home is difficult (e.g., international students). Furthermore, some students may have on-campus employment, which can be disrupted if the campus shuts down.

Prepare a comprehensive assessment and response plan that addresses the well-being of the vulnerable. Also, consider the concerns of graduating seniors, faculty, and critical staff since they, too, are affected by the crisis.

Act Quickly but with a Future-Proof Mindset

While it’s critical to control the immediate effects, university leaders should also keep in mind that the short-term decisions will greatly impact long-term responses.

The key is to plan the resumption of in-person classes under different scenarios. For example, use work teams to prepare appropriate action decisions. These decisions should support the overarching strategy for future-proofing the university’s operations .

Analyze and reconsider how to deliver student experiences and approach admissions, testing, and graduation in the new reality.

Guard Values and Principles

During a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, where the disease originated in China, it’s important to have the capacity to deal with potential xenophobic responses on campus.

University leaders should actively dispel misinformation . The goal is to strengthen a university’s values and principles, for example, respect, tolerance, and understanding toward fellow students.

Be active in speaking out against stereotypes and discrimination and supporting affected groups.

Planning Business Continuity for Universities

When developing a business continuity plan for a university, keep in mind that the plan should contain guidance and information describing how to restore critical operations. However, the overarching goal of a business continuity plan is to fortify the university for the future. Long-term resilience can be achieved through a regular assessment of the plan and the introduction of necessary updates . Set aside time slots during board meetings for discussions on business continuity planning. Communicate with stakeholders using convenient and beneficial communication tools to increase collaboration.

Read: Your Guide to Creating Business Continuity Plans

Convene for Higher Education

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Learn how Convene supports business continuity for higher education institutions.

Tanecia Jackson

Tanecia is a current Chief Governance Officer at Convene with former experience working as a Cybersecurity Manager. She is a renowned advisor when it comes to corporate governance, board oversight, resource allocation, and risk management plans for organizations. In her work, she also helps shed light on strategies that can be done to ensure effective governance, while minimizing overall regulatory risk in the company’s cybersecurity projects.

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Continuity planning involves taking responsibility for continued operations in emergencies, including power outages, earthquakes, cyber attacks, and pandemics. Based in common sense, it improves resilience by identifying key products and services.

By recognizing the activities that underpin critical functions, we can develop plans and strategies that enable rapid, effective recovery from any disruption. Continuity planning provides a solid framework to lean on in times of crisis. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has a variety of detailed tools and approaches for continuity planning that we can tailor to meet the needs of your unit.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact  [email protected] . To access Stanford University’s planning tool, click  here .

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Business Continuity

Aiming to be a more resilient campus.

Business continuity planning is a university-wide initiative to ensure that Case Western Reserve University will be prepared to resume operations with efficiency in the event of a crisis. Business continuity, a critical component in establishing a resilient university, is the capacity to resume business functions, academic instruction and research activities shortly following a disruptive event. These disruptions could come in the form of natural or manmade catastrophes, large or small.

In the event of a crisis situation, CWRU’s Emergency Management program will direct response efforts, prioritizing the safety and welfare of the campus community. While order is being restored to operational levels across campus, IT will activate their Disaster Recovery plan. Disaster Recovery planning hones in on IT procedures to ensure that vital IT function is unimpeded and essential telecommunications, applications and systems continue to be accessible for the campus community.

Meanwhile, the intention of the Business Continuity Plan is to focus on carrying on operations to support the mission of the university– scholarship, research and service – despite crises of varying magnitude.

  • Who is Responsible?
  • Vision, Mission, Values

Business Impact Analysis

Planning considerations, engaging the entire campus.

Business continuity planning will require the participation and support of all CWRU administrative, academic and research-oriented business units. These business units and academic colleges will be engaged in the plan development process by mapping out critical processes and prioritizing resumption and recovery activities in the aftermath of a crisis event.

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In collaboration with the university’s Business Continuity manager, departments will identify resources needed to carry on operations essential to the university’s mission.

Business units or departments will nominate a continuity coordinator who will engage both with the department and the business continuity manager. The coordinator will be a liaison to educate colleagues and provide updates on the university business continuity program. Additionally, the coordinator's chief function will be to manage the process of compiling the plan components as they are determined by the business unit.

Promote organizational resilience at Case Western Reserve University with comprehensive planning, preparedness and collaboration.

Through the systematic development of a Business Continuity Plan, Case Western Reserve University’s plan will safeguard the continuity of research and scholarship for our university community’s critical operations within a reasonable period of time.

  • Restore essential university operations while keeping safety and security paramount.
  • Foster a collaborative and consultative relationship with departments and business units in the plan creation process to ensure a realistic and functional plan.
  • Maintain integrity and transparency when drafting the plan to meet the diverse needs of the university community.
  • Learn from and share best practices of any one department, business unit or college with others, in order to build a more thorough, congruent Business Continuity Plan.
  • Treat the plan as a living document – it will grow and evolve over time with testing and process refinement

Completing a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is a fundamental planning exercise for all departments as they begin to think about business continuity. The intention of the BIA is to identify all processes that pass through your area, prioritize those processes that are critical to supporting the university’s mission, and determine all resources needed to ensure process completion. That includes employees, vendors, supplies, equipment, systems, applications.

When completing a BIA, assume the worst case scenario of a university outage for an extended period of time at peak time of year. This outage could entail loss of personnel and could impact a single or multiple campus facilities. The circumstances and university response may differ depending on when the crisis occurs during the academic year.

For an introduction on the purpose of the BIA, and training on how to complete it, please contact the Business Continuity Manager at [email protected]. You will schedule a time to address your business unit and help with identifying critical processes, resources, impacts and any potential gaps.

Once your BIA has been completed, the Business Continuity Manager will continue to be the contact for your department’s business continuity representative(s) and will provide ongoing support and oversight of the plan development process.

View and download  a presentation detailing the components of the Business Impact Analysis.

Plan Development

The CWRU Basic Continuity Plan and accompanying worksheets will walk you through the process of creating and developing your plan.  The Business Continuity planning process and its associated documents, including the worksheets, are considered a 'living process' that evolves with input and guidance from your respective departments and the campus community.

The Basic Plan and Worksheets include useful information and instructions on how to develop a business continuity plan for your department or school.  Download the Plan now and start developing your business continuity plan today.

Department Profile Worksheet

Important Contacts Worksheet  

Essential Function and Business Impact Analysis Worksheet  

Specialized Supplies Worksheet  

Essential Vendors Worksheet  

Specialized Equipment Worksheet‌  

Utility Impact Worksheet‌  

Vital Documents Worksheet‌  

Drives-Files-Folders Worksheet‌  

Minimum Site Requirements Worksheet‌  

Alternate Site Worksheet‌  

Recovery Planning Worksheet‌  

Mitigation - Follow-up Actions Worksheet‌  

Relocation Assistance - Key Contacts Worksheet‌ 

Individual Damage Assessment Worksheet‌ 

Recovery Contacts Worksheet‌

Staff Relocations Worksheet‌

Developing a Business Continuity Plan is an interdisciplinary exercise. Collaboration across and within departments will be critical to building a sustainable, meaningful and robust plan. Rather than simply engaging in your own business area, reach out to other dependent and partner organizations. Here are some questions to consider in this process:

  • What critical services does your department provide?
  • What work can be done in the event of a loss of a building? How about with the loss of personnel? How about in the event of loss of network connectivity?
  • Are any employees cross-trained to manage multiple functions, if needed?
  • Does your department have any manual or back-up processes in the event of a technical failure?
  • Have all employees been trained in these backup processes?
  • Does your department have an updated contact list? Is it available offline?
  • What special equipment, access or system requirements does your department need to function? This includes laptops, desktops, work space, network access, laboratory equipment, machinery.
  • Identify upstream and downstream dependencies.

Understanding Dependencies

Upstream:  The failure of another process, system, unit or equipment that would have a negative impact on your department’s function.

Downstream:  The failure of your department’s process, system, unit, or equipment that would have a negative impact on another department’s function.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Business Continuity Planning?

In the event of any disruption on campus or in Cleveland, CWRU’s administrative, academic and research operations will be momentarily paused until the emergency situation has been addressed.  The Emergency Response Framework has been designed to focus on the mitigation of immediate safety hazards.

Any prolonged disruption could have a dual impact on the University.  Primarily, student instruction might be impeded and research initiatives may stall while order and safety is assured on the campus.  The secondary impact, however, is a more subtle, long-term concern; the University might experience student attrition and the loss of faculty to other institutions.  CWRU’s response to and recovery from a disruptive event could also color its reputation and public image.  Therefore, an organized, efficient course of action to restore operations will be of utmost importance.

While restoration efforts to bring CWRU to a normal state may occur in stages, based upon the type of incident, the University will prioritize the resumption of core academics and major research projects.

What is the difference between Emergency Management and Business Continuity?

Emergency management at CWRU is focused on planning for and coordinating the response to mitigate and recover from a natural or man-made disaster situation.  The safety and welfare of the campus community -- students, faculty, staff and visitors – are paramount, and emergency responders are responsible for addressing immediate life safety concerns.

Meanwhile, business continuity is CWRU’s capability of carrying on essential university academic, research and administrative operations.  In essence, business continuity bridges emergency response and normal operations.

How does Disaster Recovery differ from Business Continuity?

Disaster Recovery focuses on the continuation of information technology services and systems.  This includes critical applications and telecommunications.  CWRU’s Information Technology Services (ITS) has developed a stand-alone Disaster Recovery Plan that is not included in CWRU’s business continuity program.  The two plans are designed to work in alignment, rather than one supersede another.  

What are the components of a Business Continuity Plan?

A Business Continuity Plan for your academic college, department or business unit will account for details related to the following:

  • Contact numbers
  • Contact list (or location of list), phone tree
  • Departmental Chain of Command
  • Recovery time frames
  • Primary responsible staff
  • Workstation requirements – computers, phones, printers, etc.
  • Special equipment
  • Special forms required
  • Data recovery information
  • Critical Vendor Contact Information

How are critical or essential business functions defined?

Business functions are defined as  work or processes performed to achieve specific requirements of the University.  Examples would be purchasing supplies, processing invoices, managing cash, interviewing prospective employees, conducting research, providing training, etc. 

Critical or essential business functions are defined as  a business functions that is vital to the University – without it, the University will either dysfunction or lose the capability to effectively achieve its critical objectives.

What are some guidelines for identifying critical business functions?

The interruption of critical business functions may have a serious impact on your college, department, business unit or the University at large.  Some of your critical business functions may be temporarily halted as your department recovers from the disruptive event; if this is the case, identify the time frame in which the function must be back on schedule.

The extended suspension of a critical business function (or shared services) could have a ripple effect on affiliate departments, so consult your business partners when drafting your plan.  Consider the impact that deferring any of your critical business functions might have on others.

Critical business functions:

  • Support the primary mission statement
  • Support other agencies’ mission critical function
  • Must be recovered quickly
  • Have a high dollar impact on the University
  • Have a high business impact
  • Have widespread public ramifications or implications
  • Have legal or compliance requirements / liabilities

Who is responsible for business continuity planning?

Business continuity planning is a campus-wide initiative and will engage all CWRU administrative, academic and research-oriented departments and business units.  This encompasses all colleges and schools, departments, and other units that conduct teaching, research or public service.  Any other units that provide essential support or infrastructure to these units should also develop business continuity plans.  Meanwhile, the University administrative leadership will develop an over-arching strategy to provide general guidance as to how they will deploy the Business Continuity program at time of incident. 

What is a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)?

A BIA is a tool to help your department understand the effect of an interruption on your regular operations and critical business functions. This is a departmental exercise where employees outline processes and prioritize them based on urgency to fulfilling the department’s mission.

Should we appoint a department business continuity coordinator?

Yes, preferably a staff or faculty member who has access to senior level management. This will be a part-time responsibility for the coordinator, but their role will be part facilitator, part project manager. The BC coordinator in your department or division will administer the plan inputs and any updates, with support from the CWRU Business Continuity Manager. 

Who should be part of the planning process?

In essence, all levels of the department, school or business unit will be involved in the planning process. The dialogue around business continuity should circulate among upper and middle managers, associate and assistant deans, key functional managers, building coordinators and other support staff. Planning groups should be relatively small in size and interdisciplinary in order to cover process dependencies.

How long will it take to craft a Business Continuity Plan?

The time frame to complete a plan will depend on the individual department and the essential business processes they perform. However, the process in total need not take more than one quarter of the year. Longer time frames do not necessarily produce better plans.  Since departments and business units will be provided with plan templates, completing the Business Impact Analysis will likely be the most time consuming portion of the planning process, while writing the plan itself will be the shortest.

How can we craft a plan to handle unknown circumstances?

The CWRU Business Continuity Program adopts an all-hazards approach; most disruptive events (weather-related catastrophes, human disasters, pandemic, etc.) will impact the University’s ability to function in similar ways.  Essentially, they will temporarily impede normal operations and access to resources regularly utilized, including:

  • Facilities and space (classrooms, offices, labs)
  • Infrastructure (power, sewer, water, network connectivity and VOIP)
  • People (staff and faculty)
  • Equipment (computers, special machinery/devices)
  • Funds (income stream)

Planning strategy should focus on:

  • Identifying critical resources
  • Safeguarding these resources against loss – backing up data, systems, safe storage of research materials and proprietary data
  • Actions that could help mitigate the impact of losses
  • Replacing resources quickly (backup supplies, contracts with same or alternate vendors)
  • Performing essential business functions without traditional resources (working from home, distance learning technology, cross-trained employees, sharing facilities with unaffected areas)
  • Providing information to the impacted community with information and updates, post-disaster

What assumptions can we make about what the campus will do to support us after a business disruption?

Here are some reasonable assumptions:

  • Access to buildings:  If campus officials have any reason to suspect that a building is hazardous to enter, the building will not be open or accessible.  You may be unable to access your office, lab, classroom or residential building for an extended period of time until all hazards have been removed.
  • Locating temporary space:  Any advanced arrangements that you can make within your own divisions to share office or lab space would be to your benefit.  In the event that your space has been damaged or is inaccessible, CWRU leadership will make every effort to secure temporary, alternate locations for your work to continue.  If the circumstances result in a campus-wide closure, reassignment and temporary workspace planning will be evaluated accordingly. 
  • Computing infrastructure:  The University Technology [U]Tech Disaster Recovery Plan focuses on the restoration of critical centrally-supported IT applications.  Resumption of network connectivity will be of highest priority after any disruption. Within your own units, we strongly encourage that you take steps to back up your data and develop plans on recovering your individual servers and applications.
  • Communications protocol:  Communications with the campus community -- students, faculty, staff and the public – will be managed by University Marketing and Communications to ensure consistency and clarity of messaging. As functionality is restored to your specific area, internal communications will be handled by your departmental leadership.  Develop a communications strategy for your department or division, including updated contact lists and phone trees. 
  • Employee welfare:  Personnel-related issues may arise during a disaster or disruptive event regarding payroll, temporary leave, benefits, temporary reassignments, work-from-home, layoffs, family issues, etc.  As Human Resources (HR) cannot develop universal policies to cover any and all extenuating circumstances, HR will be available to provide guidance to assist departments in these complex areas. Should your department have any specific concerns for HR, seek counsel in advance of any disaster.

Click for a printer-friendly version of the  Business Continuity Planning FAQ.

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Business continuity management.

Business Continuity Management (BCM) is an integrated and holistic approach to risk management using clearly articulated frameworks and processes for managing potential threats and their impact in order to build organizational resilience.  

The university values BCM and recognizes the serious impact that disruptions, such as natural or human-made disasters, can have on its community members and the continuation of its business operations. During such disruptions, maintaining the critical functions that support the university's mission is essential.

What is the purpose of Business Continuity Management?

The purpose is to enable consistency in the approach for the university to effectively prepare for and recover from academic, business, human-made, natural, technology or other disruptions .

What is the Business Continuity Management life cycle?

The Ohio State University recognizes that the operations are complex and eve r-evolving.  As a community, we must rigorously identify and manage risk to achieve our mission.  As such, each department will participate in the Business Continuity Management (BCM) lifecycle consultative process with the goal of improving our ability to remain an agile and flexible organization.

Graphic of the BCM Life Cycle

Useful Links

  • Business Continuity Management Policy
  • Business Continuity Management Governance
  • Business Continuity Management FAQs

Business Continuity Management Resources

Business Continuity Management Policy   l  Business Continuity Plan Requirements   l   FAQs   l   RACI Chart

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Contact Information

Business Continuity:  [email protected]

Vella Garrett ,

Program Manager 

(614) 247-1657

[email protected]

Matt Baldwin ,

Program Coordinator

(614) 247-5360

[email protected]

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A business continuity plan (BCP) is the advance arrangements and procedures that enable an organization to respond to an event in such a manner that critical business functions continue with planned levels of interruption or essential change. University system administration requires each department to develop and implent a BCP to ensure that critical university system administration services will continue despite their interruption by an emergency, disaster or other unplanned event, whether natural or manmade.

A BCP includes the following:

  • Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan A framework for processes and procedures to ensure critical mission essential functions continue during a disaster, and resources and personnel are in place, fostering recovering and resiliency.
  • Business Impact Analysis (BIA) / Risk Assessment The Business Impact Analysis/Risk Assessment is a process designed to identify critical business functions and workflow, determine the qualitative and quantitative impacts of a disruption, and to prioritize and establish recovery time objectives.
  • Critical Business Functions (CBF) Business functions or information that could not be interrupted or unavailable for one month or less without significantly jeopardizing the mission of the department.
  • Disaster Recovery Plan The technology and telecommunication aspect of a business continuity plan.  The advance planning and preparations necessary to restore needed IT infrastructure, minimize loss and ensure continuity of the critical business functions of an organization in the event of disaster or unplanned event.

Business Impact Analysis

Businesses are subject to many internal and external factors which are constantly changing, and managers must always be aware of these factors that can impact their business operations and growth.  One of the most common threats to all institutions, including the university, is called business interruption (BI).

BI happens whenever a significant or radical change occurs and affects how the university operates in order to achieve its goals and missions.  A BI could be caused by an occurrence that renders the current methods or process useless. A Business Impact Analysis (BIA) can assist with identifying these critical business functions.

BIA is an important tool to help develop a department COOP plan for the inevitability of consequences and their cost.  Risk is always present and the better prepared the university is for these business disruptions, the more likely it will be able to continue critical functions and reaching its missions and goals.

What is Business Impact Analysis?

A method to predict the consequences of disruptions to a business, its processes and systems by collecting relevant data. This data can be used to develop strategies for the business to recover in the case of an emergency.

Why is it important?

  • Identifies department critical business functions and impact.
  • Management should have already prepared for these risks. A response created during a crisis will likely be random, and it will almost certainly be less effective.
  • Prioritizes which critical business functions require immediate recovery and which can wait. It should also identify the impact factors (financial, reputational, legal, etc.).

Business Impact Analysis process

  • Collecting the information necessary to make the analysis.
  • Collected data must be documented and reviewed to prioritize a list of business functions or processes.
  • Document the findings on each department to include their most critical business functions and processes, the impact of disruption, acceptable duration of the disruption, tolerable level of losses.

University System Administration Business Impact Analysis Guidelines - Formal guidelines providing the BIA program framework, management responsibilities and accountabilities.

Continuity of Operations

Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning is an initiative by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that prepares individuals, organizations, and communities through an all-hazards approach to address emergencies & disasters. A COOP Plan establishes a framework for processes and procedures to ensure critical mission essential functions continue during a disaster, and resources and personnel are in place, fostering recovering and resiliency.

What is COOP?

An effort within individual executive departments and agencies to ensure that Primary Mission essential Functions continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents and technological or attack-related emergencies.

  • Planning fosters recovery and survival in and after emergency situations.
  • Establishes processes and procedures that allow for the continuation of essential functions when you can’t be in your normal workspace, or a significant portion of your staff is absent (COVID-19).

COOP - Planning Process

  • Your planning team will include representatives from all parts of your department as well as with critical partners
  • Planning takes an all-inclusive approach
  • Establish your priorities and what your department deems essential
  • You and your leadership are the Subject Matter Experts on what your department essential functions are
  • Plans should be reviewed a minimum of once a year

Formal guidelines providing the COOP program framework, management responsibilities and accountabilities COOP Software Guide - Presentation on how to use BoldPlanning.com , a web-based planning system.  If your department needs help getting access to ContinuityCU.com or help with developing or updating your COOP plan, email us at: [email protected]

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Business Continuity Management Policy

  • Issued On 11/16/2022
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Resiliency and effective response to events that may impact the University’s ability to achieve our business objectives is critical to the organization. These objectives include safeguarding human and capital assets, cash flow, brand reputation, and the best interests of the community and our stakeholders.  The preparedness for, response to, and recovery from such events significantly influences the confidence and trust of board members, patients, students, and the community.

The objective of a business continuity management program is to develop and implement plans that ensure expeditious response, continuity, and recovery of critical business functions or services during and after an incident. An incident is defined as an occurrence or event, natural or human-caused that requires the activation of business continuity plans to protect life or property, continue critical services, or resume normal activities.

Business continuity is a critical component of the University’s risk management portfolio. It includes four disciplines.  Each has a specific area of focus, but many times overlap and have interrelated activities and dependencies.

  • Emergency preparedness planning: the planning for, and response to localized emergencies.
  • Crisis management: the coordination of resources to mitigate the impact of significant emergencies or crises.
  • IT disaster recovery: the recovery of electronic systems or data.
  • Business resumption: the processes implemented to maintain or restore the organization to its pre-incident state.

Business continuity plans shall be developed and documented for the critical business functions identified in the business impact analysis conducted throughout the University.

Table of Contents

Business Continuity Requirements

  • The Business Continuity Management Program (BCMP) is responsible for the systematic and consistent assessment of the state of business resiliency planning across the University, and for regularly reporting the status of same to senior management.
  • Departments will identify and analyze the risks to their critical processes and locations. Documented response and recovery plans are required for all critical functions, IT systems, and locations delivering processes where an interruption to the normal delivery would have a significant impact on the university.
  • Departments are responsible for developing, testing, and approving their continuity plans.
  • Emergency preparedness plans must provide for timely and coordinated management of an incident to expedite resumption of normal services and minimize impact.
  • Business resumption plans must have content explaining how to deliver critical processes or outputs in the event of significant interruptions including staff absences, IT System interruptions, inability to access normal facilities or an interruption to services and resources provided by internal and external suppliers and/or partners. These plans must be actionable, should be tested annually, and must be approved by appropriate management. Plans must be updated to comprehend organizational and process changes as they occur.
  • Disaster recovery plans must provide for information technology resources to be available within the defined timeframes determined by the business.
  • Division functional groups (Environmental, Health, and Safety; Human Resources; Information Technology; Facilities, etc.) will be engaged by the business units to effect appropriate coordination related to emergency preparedness planning, crisis management, IT disaster recovery, and business resumption plans.

Business Continuity Responsibilities

Business continuity program.

  • Maintain business resumption planning tools, reporting systems, and processes necessary to comply with the Business Continuity Management policy.
  • Engage and train business continuity focal points in the disciplines of business continuity.
  • Assist with post Incident assessments, when necessary, in conjunction with the business units and information security management.
  • Promote the integration of business continuity efforts across the University.
  • Facilitate communication among members of the business continuity community through the governance and steering committees.
  • Reporting on the overall status of business resumption planning to senior management as required.

Governance Committee

  • Facilitate identification of department’s critical processes and/or locations.
  • Support and/or participate in management reviews to communicate business continuity status and action plans.
  • Serve as a liaison between the BCMP and departments.
  • Assist BCMP with ensuring response/recovery/resumption plans are developed.
  • Provide advice regarding significant changes to policies and disseminate those changes.

Department Management

  • Assign business continuity planning responsibilities to employee(s) within their departments who will be identified as the business continuity management liaisons.
  • Champion the identification of critical business processes and locations within their departments.
  • Accountable for the department’s compliance with this policy.

Business Continuity Management Liaisons

  • Life safety/patient health
  • Financial (loss of revenue)
  • Brand/organizational reputation
  • Compliance/regulatory
  • Loss of productivity
  • Employee morale and retention
  • Document and update departmental continuity plans.
  • Address the risks and potential impacts of a disruption.
  • Include response and/or recovery strategies.
  • Define roles and responsibilities of key personnel that need to be involved in the response to a disruption.
  • Include strategies to effectively communicate steps to notify, respond, and recover.
  • Provide that they are to be tested on an annual basis with realistic scenarios to test the plan and team’s response to identify gaps and take corrective actions to improve the plan.
  • Manage all business continuity plans in the approved content management system.
  • Follow directives provided in applicable continuity plans. This may include responsibilities such as keeping their contact information up-to-date with department supervisors and, if provided in the departmental plan, taking home a University-assigned laptop at the end of each working day to enable remote work in the event the employee’s University office becomes inaccessible due to an emergency.

Appendix 1: Definitions

Business Continuity: An ongoing process to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to identify the impact of potential losses and maintain viable recovery strategies, recovery plans, and continuity of services.

Business Continuity Planning: Processes and procedures that enable the University to respond to an event so that critical business functions continue with acceptable levels of performance.

Business Continuity Management Program (BCMP) : A program that manages the Business Continuity governance process by providing a policy, consultation, training, tools, and status reporting to the BCM governance committee.

Business Impact Analysis: Process that identifies, quantifies, and qualifies the impacts resulting from interruptions or disruptions of an entity’s resources.

Emergency Preparedness Planning (EPP): The discipline that ensures the University’s readiness to respond to an unexpected or unwanted event of a safety, health, or environmental nature that calls for immediate action at a specific location. These plans also include the coordination of resources to mitigate the impact of significant emergencies or crises. Each location is required to have access to the Emergency Preparedness Plan.

Business Resumption Plan (BRP): Documented processes and procedures, and recovery strategies developed to protect and restore critical business operations in the event of an interruption. The primary objective is to minimize the negative effects of a disruption, and restore the business processes and related sub-processes to normal operations.

IT Disaster Recovery (DR):   The activities and plans are designed to both restore the University’s information and communication systems to an acceptable condition; and, to minimize loss of data in the event of a major interruption in services.

Appendix 2: Contact Information

Please address any questions or concerns with any policies set forth within this document to the University of Rochester Business Continuity Program Office ( [email protected] )

Appendix 3: Revision History

About this policy, related policies.

  • Business Continuity Management Governance Policy

Risk Management, Insurance, and Loss Prevention

Business continuity at the university of iowa.

Attention KualiReady Plan Managers: Please make sure all KualiReady plans are up-to-date and have been marked “Complete”. If you need any assistance updating your plan's status please contact Risk Management at [email protected]

For purposes of planning at the University of Iowa,  business continuity  is defined as the continuity of critical functions following an incident that overwhelms normal everyday operations. Continuity planning is a separate, though complementary, activity from  disaster recovery , which historically applied to information technologies related activities. Continuity planning is also distinguished from  emergency preparedness , which focuses on immediate response efforts to protect human life and property. Business continuity can be thought of as the big picture, with some details, that can be documented prior to a disaster to ensure that the University of Iowa can continue to perform all operations necessary to meet its threefold mission of education, research and service. In order to assist departments in creating flexible business continuity plans, the University of Iowa has a subscription to  Kuali Ready .

If you would like to view the recording of the Kuali Ready Training from March 13, 2020 please contact Risk Management at  [email protected]

Business Continuity Planning Tool, Kuali Ready

Kuali Ready is a continuity planning tool originally developed by the University of California at Berkeley specifically for use at institutions of higher learning. Kuali Ready, allows units to easily create departmental continuity of operations plans, which empower departments to continue mission-critical functions when faced with adverse events. The application incorporates planning and emergency preparedness best practices, while focusing on the unique business operations of higher education. This UI Continuity Planning Tool is accessible to The University of Iowa community through the following link:   https://uiowa.kuali.co/ready

There are some great new design features which went live on December 1st, 2016. Departments will now be able to navigate their department’s plan, add document attachments, easily create PDFs and more! To access the redesigned and more user friendly UI Continuity Planning Tool, Kuali Ready please use the following link:  https://uiowa.kuali.co/ready . If you have any questions about accessing or using the UI Continuity Planning Tool, Kuali Ready, please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Risk Management at  [email protected]

Business Continuity Goals

  • Reduce disruption to normal operations following a disaster by conducting education and planning in advance.
  • Increase knowledge of institutional interdependencies and reliance on shared resources.
  • Increase rapid decision making abilities at both the departmental and institutional level during and immediately following a disaster.
  • UI potential losses could be human life loss or bodily injury; short or long-term research; academic interruptions (suspended classes); or financial revenue from a multitude of sources (athletic events, performances, etc.).
  • Cross-training of individuals to ensure personnel coverage for critical functions
  • Off-site back-ups and/or separation of risks
  • Contracting and purchasing options where other academic institutions may be able to temporarily remotely support UI functions
  • Plan to move select personnel to an alternate facility following a disaster
  • Designate who can work from home during a disaster and who must be available at assigned physical locations
  • Protect institutional reputation by demonstrating a commitment to uphold The University of Iowa's tripartite missions of education, research and service.
  • Discover and eliminate errors such as faulty assumptions before they cause loss of resources.
  • Recognize the need for written documentation of policies and processes, thereby reducing reliance on key individuals who may be unavailable during or following an incident.

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Business Continuity Planning

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Organize a business continuity team and compile a  business continuity plan  to manage a business disruption. Learn more about how to put together and test a business continuity plan with the videos below.

Business Continuity Plan Supporting Resources

  • Business Continuity Plan Situation Manual
  • Business Continuity Plan Test Exercise Planner Instructions
  • Business Continuity Plan Test Facilitator and Evaluator Handbook

Business Continuity Training Videos

The Business Continuity Planning Suite is no longer supported or available for download.

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Business Continuity Training Introduction

An overview of the concepts detailed within this training. Also, included is a humorous, short video that introduces viewers to the concept of business continuity planning and highlights the benefits of having a plan. Two men in an elevator experience a spectrum of disasters from a loss of power, to rain, fire, and a human threat. One man is prepared for each disaster and the other is not.

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Business Continuity Training Part 1: What is Business Continuity Planning?

An explanation of what business continuity planning means and what it entails to create a business continuity plan. This segment also incorporates an interview with a company that has successfully implemented a business continuity plan and includes a discussion about what business continuity planning means to them.

Business Continuity Training Part 2: Why is Business Continuity Planning Important?

An examination of the value a business continuity plan can bring to an organization. This segment also incorporates an interview with a company that has successfully implemented a business continuity plan and includes a discussion about how business continuity planning has been valuable to them.

Business Continuity Training Part 3: What's the Business Continuity Planning Process?

An overview of the business continuity planning process. This segment also incorporates an interview with a company about its process of successfully implementing a business continuity plan.

Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 1

The first of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “prepare” to create a business continuity plan.

Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 2

The second of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “define” their business continuity plan objectives.

Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 3

The third of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “identify” and prioritize potential risks and impacts.

Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 4

The fourth of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “develop” business continuity strategies.

Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 5

The fifth of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should define their “teams” and tasks.

Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 6

The sixth of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “test” their business continuity plans.

Last Updated: 11/08/2023

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How To Update Your Business Continuity Plan in 2024

Plan for 2024

Business Continuity Planning for 2024

As 2024 begins, it is important to start planning— and updating your business continuity plan is a huge part of that. Planning ahead ensures that you have a vision for your business moving forward and that you have the tools and resources in place to manage your growth and maximize success. Not sure how exactly to get started? Read ahead for practical steps and advice. 

Perform a Business Impact Analysis 

One of the first things you can do to aid your business continuity planning is to perform a  business impact analysis . A business impact analysis (or BIA) explores the impact a widespread disruption would have on your business. Performing a business impact analysis is one of the best ways to start planning for the future. Doing so can help you find where there might be vulnerabilities in your operations and overall business model. It’s a great way to find and identify your business’s blind spots and prepare potential solutions. 

This can also assist with other essential business-related tasks, like budget planning and understanding hiring needs for the upcoming year. Planning ahead and performing a business impact analysis will save you lots of time and stress in any case. 

Business Resilience 

Part of planning ahead for 2024 should include solidifying your business’s overall resilience. Let’s face it— 2024 is a risky time to be operating a business. Think ahead about ways you can strengthen and solidify your business model. The world is more unpredictable than ever, and businesses need to be built to withstand it. Creating a business continuity plan will ensure your business is around for the long haul, allowing you to grow and invest in the future. 

Disaster Recovery 

It might sound obvious, but make sure you have a plan in place for disaster recovery as a part of your business continuity plan. Knowing and identifying issues is one thing, but dealing with them can be a different task. So, make sure you not only have a plan to identify risk, but also have a plan to manage and recover from it. 

Risk Management 

Now that you have invested in your business’s health and resiliency, you should start figuring out  ways to mitigate risk . Investing in risk management plans should be a key part of planning for 2024. One of the biggest lessons that business leaders can take away from 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic is the need for proper risk management techniques. Don’t leave yourself unprepared like many businesses did— research and understand risk management in your field and implement best practices into your business continuity plan. 

Once you understand the value of risk management, you should identify and prevent these issues and tackle them head on. With that in mind, here are some common trends and potential risks projected for the year 2024. 

Crime is one of the biggest trends you should be aware of when updating your business continuity plan this upcoming year. With issues like COVID-19, natural disasters, and high inflation, crime is on the rise. Consider common issues such as shoplifting, hackers, and other technology-related scams, and have plans and protocols in place to deal with these problems. Make sure that you also train both yourself and your employees to spot and prevent crime. Doing so will help prevent both financial losses, as well as ensure your business remains safe and trustworthy in the eyes of the public. 

Working with Extreme Weather 

With more occurrences of extreme weather on the rise it is smart planning to consider how extreme events could affect your business when updating your business continuity plan. 

Offering flexible work setting for your employees, such as work-from-home or a hybrid model, can help everyone maintain productivity during periods of extreme weather, such as the snowy winter months and extreme temperatures of late summer . It’s always best practice to have a protocol in place before the extreme weather hits, so research potential risks for your area and make a plan well ahead of time. 

The Future of COVID-19 

While many lockdowns and other early pandemic worries are now a thing of the past, there are still several highly contagious COVID-19 strains that are likely to stick around. Thus, it's not unreasonable to assume that there will likely be times when your business may encounter issues due to COVID-19 , including the possibility of multiple employees being out or even a temporary closure. Thus, it is vital that you have contingency plans built into your overall business continuity plan so everyone knows what to do in the event of COVID-19 affecting your workplace and business operations. 

Continuing Work-from-Home (WFH) Trends 

The word is in: Work from home is here to stay, as  continual studies show  that many people (and even employers) enjoy working from home while continuing to maintain similar, or even better, productivity levels as when they were working in the office. Rather than fighting work-from-home , future-minded employers are embracing the trend and strategizing ways to implement it into their overall business model and business continuity plans. So, make sure you include this very important consideration in your business continuity planning. Consider things like  employee well-being , technology and security issues, and performance evaluation related to remote work. 

Dealing with Inflation 

Inflation was a hot topic in 2023, and businesses and their employees can expect this trend to continue into 2023. Operating costs are likely to remain high due to inflation. Likewise, in response to inflation and the increasing costs of living, many workers are looking for jobs with higher wages. In addition, many states and local towns have passed minimum wage increases in response to the rising rates of inflation. Build inflation into your budget and have a plan in place to manage it going into the year 2024. 

New Year, New Regulations 

When the new year rolls around, there are almost always new laws and regulations that come into effect, be it on the state, local, federal, or even business level. It’s essential to research these new laws and regulations well ahead of time so that you can understand how they are going to affect your business going forward. Don’t wait until the new year has already arrived— doing so could mean fines or other legal penalizations if it turns out that you have broken labor or safety laws. If you have questions or any confusion or concerns about any new laws or regulations, you should talk to your business’s human resources department and legal team, to ensure you are prepared for new laws going forward. Doing so protects both your business and your employees, so don’t neglect this essential step. It’s part of your responsibility as someone who owns and operates a business. 

Cybersecurity 

Focusing on cybersecurity is a vital part of business planning in the modern era, and 2024 is no exception to this rule.  Recent research shows  that cybersecurity events and business disruptions have been some of the most common types of business disasters in recent years. As technology grows and evolves, unfortunately, so do criminals. It will be well worth the effort to have a plan in place ahead of time, so your business's safety is ensured online. Don’t wait until there is a data breach or extended outage to  think about your cybersecurity . Your customers trust that you are being confidential and responsible with their information and jeopardizing that trust could result in a negative blow to your business reputation. Plan before it is too late. 

Conclusion 

A business continuity plan is a key component of your operations. It should be well thought through and carefully researched, and everyone involved should know exactly what their role is and how they fit into it. Creating a business continuity plan prevents a multitude of issues down the line for you and your business. Preparis can help you create a customized plan for your business, so you can move forward through 2024 with confidence and maximize growth.  Contact us today  and learn how we can help you and your business succeed. 

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COMMENTS

  1. PDF Yale University Business Continuity Planning Quick Start Guide

    Revised September 2019 Introduction Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a collection of resources, actions, procedures, and information that is developed, tested, and kept ready in the event of a major disruption of operations. It helps prepare departments and units to continue their essential functions after a disaster or other major disruption.

  2. Business Continuity Plan

    This preparation is known as business continuity planning. SharePoint is a web-based tool adopted by the University that is used to store each department's business continuity plan. This program will store disaster recovery information and materials that can be accessed quickly in order to return to normal operations as soon as possible ...

  3. Business Continuity

    Resources Business Continuity Lead Roles and Responsibilities Business Continuity Overview Fusion Framework - Emergency & Continuity Management System Harvard University Critical Position Policy Department Contact Brian Mazmanian 617-495-2062 [email protected]

  4. Business Continuity Plan

    Business Continuity Planning is the practice of planning how your department will provide services or conduct departmental business during or after an emergency or disaster that may have both short-term and long-term consequences.

  5. PDF Business Continuity Plan

    Introduction Business Continuity Plan is the process whereby organizations ensure the maintenance of critical operations when confronted with adverse events such as natural disasters, technology failures, human errors, or terrorism.

  6. Business Continuity Planning

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a collection of resources, actions, procedures, and information that is developed, tested, and held in readiness for use in the event of a disaster or major disruption of operations.

  7. Business Continuity

    Departments with well-developed, up-to-date and practiced Business Continuity Plans strengthen the overall University's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and emergency preparedness by contributing to the safety of employees and students and building resilience for the University in the event of an emergency.

  8. Business Continuity Planning

    A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a collection of resources, actions, procedures, and information that is developed, tested, and held in readiness for use in the event of a disaster or major disruption of operations. A BCP helps prepare Yale departments and organizations to maintain essential functions after a disaster or disruption.

  9. A Guide to Business Continuity for Higher Education

    Inevitably, business continuity for higher education institutions is now a much-discussed topic among university boards. Playing the role of microcities, universities embrace a wide array of functions that are often deeply ingrained into local communities, the economy, and the healthcare system. Bearing that in mind, universities need to ...

  10. Business Continuity Program Planning

    Continuity planning provides a solid framework to lean on in times of crisis. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has a variety of detailed tools and approaches for continuity planning that we can tailor to meet the needs of your unit. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact [email protected]. To access ...

  11. Business Continuity

    Business continuity planning is a university-wide initiative to ensure that Case Western Reserve University will be prepared to resume operations with efficiency in the event of a crisis. Business continuity, a critical component in establishing a resilient university, is the capacity to resume business functions, academic instruction and ...

  12. Business Continuity Management

    Business Continuity Management (BCM) is an integrated and holistic approach to risk management using clearly articulated frameworks and processes for managing potential threats and their impact in order to build organizational resilience.

  13. PDF Guide to Business Continuity and Recovery Planning

    Guide to Business Continuity and Recovery Planning │ March 2020 │ www.ehs.washington.edu │ Page 6 of 22 for UW Laboratories & Research Facilities . If you have any questions about this guide, or if you need additional assistance in your business continuity planning, please contact Laboratory Safety at . [email protected] or UWEM at

  14. Business Continuity Planning

    A BCP includes the following: Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan A framework for processes and procedures to ensure critical mission essential functions continue during a disaster, and resources and personnel are in place, fostering recovering and resiliency. Business Impact Analysis (BIA) / Risk Assessment

  15. PDF APPROACHES TO BUSINESS CONTINUITY

    2.3 Business continuity is a business issue 11 2.4 The need for a business continuity planning introduction for higher education 12 2.5 How this document will help 12 2.6 What this document does not do 12 3 What is business continuity? 14 3.1 Risk management 15 3.2 Emergency management 15 3.3 Business continuity 16 3.4 Business recovery 16

  16. PDF BUSINESS CONTINUITY POLICY

    Business Continuity Planning Policy Demonstrates the university's commitment to protecting its people, assets, reputation and educational activities. Roles & Responsibilities A definition of the key roles in preparing to meet, and recover from, any major incident that threatens the continued operation of the University's academic operations.

  17. Business Continuity Management Policy

    The Business Continuity Management Program (BCMP) is responsible for the systematic and consistent assessment of the state of business resiliency planning across the University, and for regularly reporting the status of same to senior management. Departments will identify and analyze the risks to their critical processes and locations.

  18. Business Continuity Management

    Business Continuity (BC) enhances an organisation's resilience by putting in place arrangements to help it respond to, and recover from, disruptive incidents effectively and efficiently. It provides reassurance which allows the organisation to focus on growth and development with confidence.

  19. PDF Business Continuity Plan

    Business Continuity Plan The College recognizes these key units and the range of threats that might impede ongoing delivery of services: Crisis Communication and Campus Security Information Services Business and Human Resources Facilities Student Services and Enrollment Distance Learning and Emergency Delivery of Courses Campus Health

  20. PDF Business Continuity Management Policy and Framework

    This BCM Policy and Framework documents the University's approach to Business Continuity Management (BCM) and provides a consistent, overarching structure to support Schools and Departments in the development and implementation of their own BCM arrangements.

  21. Business Continuity at The University of Iowa

    Business Continuity at The University of Iowa For purposes of planning at the University of Iowa, business continuity is defined as the continuity of critical functions following an incident that overwhelms normal everyday operations. Continuity planning is a separate, though complementary, activity from disaster recovery, which historically applied to information technologies related activities.

  22. PDF 34. BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING

    34.3.1 Introduction: A business continuity plan is one that contains information and describes procedures intended to help an organisation survive credible threats to business activities, make best use of resources under pressure, and minimise loses and recovery time. 34.3.2 A business continuity plan for the College of Medicine & Veterinary ...

  23. Business Continuity Planning

    English Organize a business continuity team and compile a business continuity plan to manage a business disruption. Learn more about how to put together and test a business continuity plan with the videos below. Business Continuity Plan Supporting Resources Business Continuity Plan Situation Manual

  24. How To Update Your Business Continuity Plan in 2024

    Business Continuity Planning for 2024. As 2024 begins, it is important to start planning— and updating your business continuity plan is a huge part of that. Planning ahead ensures that you have a vision for your business moving forward and that you have the tools and resources in place to manage your growth and maximize success.