When it comes to executing an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) or Continuity of Operations/Government Plan (COOP/COG), you know success hinges on one important factor—people. Or, more specifically, teams of people within your organization. These teams, which are usually made up of individuals with various skills and from entirely different departments, must work together to achieve a shared goal. In the world of crisis planning, that shared goal is resilience.
Unfortunately, attaining the goal of resilience can prove tougher than you think. Why? If the roles and responsibilities of team members aren’t well identified, fully documented and clearly communicated, assumptions will be made. Some individuals or entire teams may not complete their required tasks, and others may be quick to point a finger of blame. As a result, relationships may suffer, and even worse, the road to resilience may prove even longer the next time around.
Here’s the good news. These common pitfalls (among others) are almost always avoidable. As a solid first step, consider the following seven questions when you start to write or update your organization’s emergency operations or continuity plan.
- Who are the key people, i.e., team members, within our organization and outside our organization?
- Have we established teams within our plan and are the people organized on these teams?
- Is senior management involved in and just as important, supportive of, our teams?
- Are team members aware and understanding of their roles and responsibilities to their team(s)?
- Do we have current contact information for all team members? And, is there a process in place to keep such details up to date?
- Have we conducted planning meetings, or drills and exercises, to discuss the details of our teams and their responsibilities?
- Who is responsible for communicating plan changes to all team members and what is the frequency of such communication?
Questions like these may seem elementary, especially to seasoned planners, yet many organizations cannot answer them with 100% certainty. That’s where BOLDplanning can help. Call us today at 615.469.5558 for a no-obligation discussion about your organization’s emergency operations or continuity planning needs.