Planning Considerations

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.

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.