Continuity of operations (COOP) planning is more than a good business practice. It is fast becoming a business necessity for commercial organizations such as retailers, hospitals, airlines, and state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments. Services provided by SLTT governments, including law enforcement, public health, and transportation, are crucial to everyday life and should not be interrupted for any reason.  

Interestingly, and perhaps even surprisingly, SLTT governments sometimes seem to struggle the most when developing and maintaining COOPs. Why? Primarily because they have to do more with less­—fewer people, scarcer resources, and reduced funding. But several other obstacles often impede the COOP planning efforts of SLTT governments too. Among them are a general lack of COOP awareness, a funding myth, and a common misconception about planning difficulty.  

 In this blog post, BOLDplanning, a division of Agility, will address these three obstacles one by one and shed some new light on how to overcome them going forward.   

Lack of awareness 

Continuity is a word that many people often only associate with information technology. However, continuity extends beyond computer networks and data security in today’s world. It encompasses every department or division within an organization, including those of SLTT governments, and pertains to every aspect of business, from accounting to the delivery of certain services. Still, a general need for awareness of organization-wide continuity exists.  

COOP plans identify all of an organization’s essential functions, along with the actions and resources necessary to ensure their continuance both during and after a business disruption. They also address:

  • Delegations of authority
  • Succession planning
  • Alternate facilities
  • Interoperable communications
  • Vital records and databases
  • Human capital
  • Prog