Essential functions, mission-critical functions, essential business functions. Regardless of what you call them, they are the responsibilities, or tasks, that your organization must complete in order to be considered operational. These can range from HR and general accounting to emergency/9-1-1 call taking, and virtually anything and everything in between. To help you identify and prioritize your organization’s essential functions, the BOLDplanning team suggests you ask the following important questions:

  1. What functions do we perform and which ones are most important?
  2. What’s the frequency of the function(s) that must be conducted – daily, weekly, monthly, etc.?
  3. What resources (people, equipment, facilities, specialized resources) are required to complete these function(s)?
  4. Are certain functions dependent upon successful completion of another (finish-to-start), and if so, which ones?
  5. Does our organization have a clear understanding of which functions must continue during times of disruption versus those that can be delayed temporarily?
  6. Of those functions being delayed, do we have an understanding of how long they can be delayed?
  7. Are there certain functions that we perform based on requirements by laws, regulations or mandates?
  8. What is the priority of our essential functions based on their importance to our organization?
  9. Does everyone within our organization understand their role(s) in carrying out our essential functions?
  10. Could we experience loss of revenue or a tarnished reputation if certain functions aren’t maintained in an emergency or business disruption?

While the answers to these questions will vary from organization to organization, it’s important to know that all essential functions serve the distinct purpose of ensuring continuity of operations (COOP). Once essential functions have been identified and prioritized in a logical and meaningful way, crucial next steps, such as determining the impact of the loss of the function, assigning risks, or outlining appropriate actions can be taken. And, just as important, taken with confidence.

BOLDplanning provides comprehensive planning services coupled with superior online software. Currently, BOLDplanning is the solution of choice for more than 10,000 public and private sector organizational plans across the country.