Binder, what binder? The one(s) that contain your organization’s Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan and/or Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), of course. Now, more than ever, you need to be able to access, activate, and update these plans at a moment’s notice. And, more importantly, to do so without having to fumble through pages upon pages of potentially outdated information during an actual business disruption. Developing and maintaining COOPs and EOPs using online planning software is a proven and viable solution to the many problems associated with traditional, paper-based plans. How so?
Improved Communication & Collaboration
Effective continuity/emergency planning isn’t a “one-man-show.” It requires a great deal of communication and collaboration between many people representing multiple departments and oftentimes even others outside your organization. Unfortunately, the manual exchange of information, i.e., emails, documents, maps, and other intelligence, only complicates the plan development process and increases odds for errors. Online planning software (like that provided by BOLDplanning) provides all plan stakeholders secure, 24/7 access to a single resource where they can easily manage information and share essential documentation.
Speaking of security, it is important to note that binder-based plans provide no access limitations or safeguards, making it possible for anyone to access, or worse, somehow change the contents without your organization’s knowledge. With online planning software, access is permission-based using assigned usernames and passwords. Further, logins and other activities are generally time-stamped and recorded for security or investigative purposes.
Time & Cost Savings
Maintaining paper-based COOPs and EOPs is no easy task. Neither is keeping the most up-to-date version on the shelf for quick accessibility. That’s because a comprehensive plan is really a conglomeration of multiple mini-plans. Each has its own corresponding activities, personnel, facilities, etc. As such, precious time can be wasted while individuals manually scour printed tables of contents or indexes looking for the right piece of information. Additionally, simple changes in personnel and resources may require the costly reprinting and time-intensive replacement of entire sections in multiple binders. Well-designed online planning software allows users to search the plans’ contents electronically and exponentially lowers continuity/emergency planning costs.
Users simply log in, make the necessary changes, and save. Roles, responsibilities, team assignments, and other important details are updated automatically. Best of all, the distribution of all changes in planning guidance and best practices is done uniformly, consistently, and in real time across all plans. (Yes, it really is that simple!)
Convenience & Availability
In the event of a business disruption that impacts your organization’s facility, it may be difficult, if not impossible to locate the binders containing its COOP and/or EOP plans. This is especially true following a natural disaster which can completely destroy not only the contents of the plans but also the structures in which they are physically located. Even if other copies exist in different locations, they too may not be obtainable or intact. Online planning software is safely “in the cloud,” and always available to those with a network connection. Apps put preparedness plans directly into the hands of people wherever they may be, helping ensure the appropriate actions are taken in an emergency.
So, while manual, paper-based planning approaches have certainly served their purpose in the past, they simply no longer fulfill today’s modern requirements. Let 2021 be the year your organization finally “bans the binder” by implementing online planning software. Or, more specifically, the BOLDplanning.com platform. It’s the solution of choice for over 10,000 preparedness plans nationwide. (There’s also a module for Hazard Mitigation Planning if your organization is preparing to develop or update its plan in 2021 or beyond).
Want to learn more about BOLDplanning and its tried-and-true platform for emergency, continuity, and hazard mitigation planning? Just email info@BOLDplanning.com or call 615.469.5558 today.