During an emergency, your business may experience a disruption in your operations due to:
High staff absenteeism
Unavailability of supplies and materials
- Interruptions to services like power, transportation and communications.
Objective of the business continuity planning process
Determine how your organization will maintain essential services/functions in the event of an emergency.
What are essential services
A service when not delivered, creates an impact on the health and safety of individuals.
A service that may lead to the failure of a business unit if activities are not performed in a specified time period.
In some organizations, services that must be performed to satisfy regulatory requirements.
- A service where if not performed, the impact may be immediate or may occur over a certain time period.
This means that your business may be forced to modify, reduce, or even eliminate specific services/functions to cope with the impacts of the emergency. These impacts may be felt across the organization or localized to specific business units.
As you begin discussions, you may find that you have existing resources that you can use to extract information about essential services in your organization (e.g., pandemic influenza plans, Y2K plan, etc.)
How to determine and prioritize your essential services
1. Complete the Essential Services Ranking template
This will help you create your list of essential services by department or business unit. You then need to rate the degree to which it will negatively impact the various key areas such as financial, employees, customers etc.
2. Prioritize and categorize, use the Essential Services Criticalness Factor template
For each essential service, assign a "degree of criticalness" (Priority A, B or C). Rate the impact on each service such as staff absenteeism, unavailability of critical supplies, or disruptions to essential systems.
Priority A: Essential services/functions
Priority B: Services that can be suspended for a short period of time (for example, services that can be suspended for one month).
- Priority C: Services that can be suspended for an extended period of time. This may require a corporate overview.