Mother Nature cannot be controlled but it can be addressed through planning. Continuity plans that prioritize critical and unique functions, activities or services lower risks for your department or office. A well-detailed plan maps the way from disruption to resumption and back to normal operations.
The Business Continuity Program at IU has several methods to assist you in developing plans:
- Tools: We provide a web accessible tool for creating, storing and maintaining plan(s) called IU READY
- Consulation: We are ready and available to advise and direct every phase of the BCP development process
- Help: We provide resources to assist with each phase
- Scope: We provide system-wide answers to common problems or questions
- Quality assurance: We help with BCP testing, maintenance and best practice resources
To access the IU Ready tool, go to One.IU.edu and search for "IU Ready", then click on the IU Ready link for your campus. For assistance, contact IU Emergency Management and Continuity.
- Why is having a business continuity plan by department important at IU?
Pre-planning/preparedness – which is what a business continuity plan is all about – allows the university (at both individual unit and system-wide levels) to know what critical functions should be performed and in what order following a critical event. It is important that all units be up and in working operations – business, academics, students, staff – as quickly as possible. Not having good BCPs can be detrimental to university financial concerns, branding, and reputation. IU is expected to teach and support teaching and research efforts without fail.
- Who should be involved with creating this continuity plan? Faculty? Staff?
Yes to both – if applicable. Because everyone has a role in the success of the division, department or unit, it is best that all parties assist in providing the knowledge and expertise about the functions and operations for the plan.
- Do continuity plans have to be written for each type of crisis or disruption?
No. IU encourages plans be written for the ‘worst case scenario.’ If you plan for the worst and then hope for the best, you are prepared for recovery from any incident occurring at any time. A detailed list of all critical functions performed within your area either weekly, monthly, or annually will help prioritize resumption of services.
- Do we have to experience a tornado or building fire in order to find a BCP useful?
Absolutely not. If your entire department is moving into a new building, a good continuity plan will help you know what processes/functions are the most critical for that month and allow you to activate those first. What if the air conditioning is out for many weeks during the summer and staff can’t work in those conditions? What if a water pipe breaks in the ceiling and floods most of your office area? Continuity plans help in all these situations.
- Should plans contain information about replacing equipment and supplies?
Yes, but you have an ally in IU Purchasing. The plan -- containing lists of supplies, tools, equipment, etc. for your office, lab, classroom, residence hall or food services -- would guide the purchasing staff. An inventory of equipment or even photos is helpful to get the process started