Key Terms

Key Terms Definition
Asset Anything that has value to the university.  This could include physical assets, such as plant and equipment, as well as intellectual property, human resources, goodwill and even reputation.
Backlog An accumulation of work tasks that remains incomplete as the result of a system or application being unavailable for a period of time.  Account for the backlog of work when assessing resources (i.e. time, staff and materials) necessary in resuming business operations.
Backup A process by which both electronic and paper data is duplicated in some form so as to be available and usable if the original data is lost, destroyed or corrupted.
Business Continuity (BC) The strategic capability of our university to plan for and respond to unplanned outages and business disruptions, in order to continue delivering our university mission at acceptable levels.
Business Continuity Manager University employee responsible for CWRU Business Continuity program, who works with departments to create plans to keep CWRU functioning after a disruptive event.
Business Continuity Plan (BCP) A dynamic collection of documented procedures and operational guidelines developed by individual business units. These plans are maintained in the event of a business disruption. The intent of the plan is to enable the university to respond in such a manner that critical business functions would resume with minimal constraints.
Business function Work or processes performed to achieve specific requirements of the university. Examples would be purchasing supplies, processing invoices, managing cash, interviewing prospective employees, conducting research, providing training, etc.
Business Impact Analysis (BIA) The process of identifying business functions and the impact a business disruption could have on both the function itself and the university at large.
Business unit A department or unit within the university.
Campus Incident Management Team (CIMT) At Case Western Reserve University, the CIMT’s role is to provide strategic guidance to support on-scene incident management activities, coordinate decision making and resource allocation among cooperating departments and external partners, establish the priorities among incidents, and harmonize university policies.
Compliance Upholding the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct, intending to operate in full accordance with all applicable laws and policies. Reference the university Compliance Program for specific details.
Contact list List of all critical contacts, such as campus contacts, employees, critical vendors.
Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) While very similar to a Business Continuity Plan, a COOP is used mainly in the context of government or military agencies.
Crisis An aberration or event that threatens the university operations, its students, staff, and visitors.  
Critical A term to describe the importance of an operational process or resource that must be made available at the earliest possible opportunity after an incident or business disruption.
Critical activities Activities which must be performed in order to deliver key services and products to enable the university to meet its most important and time-sensitive objectives.
Critical business function A business function that is vital to the university; without it the university will either dysfunction or lose the capability to effectively achieve its critical objectives.
Dependency The reliance, directly or indirectly, of one activity or process upon another. Dependencies could be with either internal or external parties.
Disaster A serious or sudden event, such as an accident or natural catastrophe that causes great damage, injury or loss and disrupts the university’s ability to carry on its critical business functions.
Disaster Recovery (DR) The ability of the university to provide critical Information Technology (IT) and telecommunications capabilities and services, after a disruption caused by emergency, incident or disaster. 
Disruption An event that interrupts any normal business functions, operations or processes. Disruptions may be anticipated (i.e. hurricane, political unrest, planned outage) or unanticipated (such as terror attack, technology failure, earthquake)
Document Any medium containing information – paper or electronic.
Downtime A period of time when something is not in operation, or has been shut down, either planned or unexpectedly.
Emergency An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action and response.
Emergency Management (EM) Efforts by Case Western Reserve University and the Office of Emergency Management team to prepare for, protect against, mitigate the effects of and recover from natural or man-made disasters or acts of terrorism. The Office of EM works in collaboration with police, campus security, environmental health and safety, university communications and other campus management centers.
Emergency Operations Center (EOC) The central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency management.  The staff at the EOC, the Operations, and Policy Groups, is responsible for making operational decisions, gathering, analyzing data, making decisions protecting life and property, disseminating decisions and information to all concerned agencies and individuals.
Emergency Operations Group This group is comprised of key leadership from department or business units that have a direct role in emergency response activity on campus.  Their responsibilities include liaise with on-scene incident command; mobilize, coordinate and direct campus emergency response resources; support emergency procurement of supplies and equipment etc. Reference the CWRU Emergency Response Framework for more information.
Emergency Response Framework (ERF) At Case Western Reserve University, a reference document detailing how the university’s core decision makers will respond to a crisis of any magnitude.  The framework identifies principals, personnel, roles, resources, structure and partners that provide for an integrated, flexible, efficient university response.
Essential services Infrastructure services without which a building or area would be considered disabled and unable to provide normal operating services; includes utilities (electricity, water, gas, steam, telecommunications), and may also include standby power systems or environmental control systems.
Event Occurrence or change of a particular set of circumstances. See “Incident”
Exercise Rehearsal of the roles of team members and staff, testing the recovery or continuity of an organization’s systems (i.e. technology, telephony, administration) to demonstrate business continuity competence and capability.
Facility Any infrastructure or plant and related systems that have a specific function or service on campus.
Financial impact Expenses undertaken following a business interruption or disaster which cannot be offset by income, and directly affects the university’s financial position.
First responder A member of an emergency service who is first on the scene at a disruptive incident.
Hazard A danger or risk leading to an unwanted incident, which may result in harm to individuals, assets, systems or organization, the environment or community.
Hot site A facility equipped with fully synchronized technical requirements including IT, telecom and infrastructure, which can be used to provide rapid recovery and resumption of operations.
Incident An event that has the capacity to lead to a loss of business or disruption to an organization’s normal operations, services or functions, and if mishandled, could escalate to an emergency, crisis or disaster.
Incident Command System (ICS) A standardized, on-scene, all-hazards incident management approach, operating within a common organizational structure. It is designed to aid in the management of resources during incidents.
Organization A group of people and facilities with an arrangement of responsibilities, authorities and relationships (i.e. company, university, firm, enterprise, institution, etc.)  An organization can be public, private or non-profit.
Phone tree A pre-determined, tiered telecommunication chain that enables a list of persons to be notified of an incident.  Phone trees (or call trees) can only be successful if employee contact information is up-to-date and multiple contact options are provided.
Policy Group The CWRU Policy Group is made of senior leadership personnel with authority to make broad-based policy decisions for the entire university during a crisis. Responsibilities of the Policy Group mirror those of the Office of the President and senior leadership including: setting broad, strategic goals for the entire campus incident management team; making decisions about closures and associated timelines; continuing of academic operations and decisions regarding instruction; liaising with and addressing concerns of the Board of Trustees. Reference the CWRU Emergency Response Framework for more information.
Process A series of interrelated actions taken to reach an identified goal.
Record A collection of documented information, regardless of characteristics, media, physical form, or the manner it is recorded or stored.  Generally speaking, records provide evidence of activities (whereas documents provide evidence of intentions).
Recovery point objective (RPO) The ability of your systems to recover data in the event of failure and the maximum tolerable period of time in which data might be lost. Determining the RPO allows administrators to determine the minimum frequency for which data back-ups would be required.
Recovery strategies The methodology employed by the university to restore critical operations and systems to their normal status following a disaster.  Recovery strategies could include:
  • Reverting to manual operations
  • Suspending operations
  • Temporary work relocation
Recovery time objective (RTO) The maximum time allowed between an outage and resumption of normal operations.
Sub-process One or more tasks that accomplish a significant portion of a process.