Business Continuity Planning

A business disruption can be caused by snow days, employee absences, championship parades, or other events that may result in short-term or longer-term process disruptions.

In the event of a disruption, we want to do our best to ensure that students are still learning, faculty are teaching, and services remain available. We do this by putting into action the plans we create through Business Continuity Planning (BCP).

What is BCP?

BCP is a planning process that helps your department:

  • Identify the critical functions that support your operational functions
  • Assess the potential impact of disruption to those functions
  • Develop strategies to continue/quickly resume those functions when faced with adverse events
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your plans during simulated and actual events

What is the Goal of BCP?

Good continuity planning will result in action items that, when completed ahead of a disruption, will position your department and the University with ways of fulfilling your critical functions. Plans do not guarantee outcomes, but they can improve readiness and resilience. Please see this list of Recommended and Sample Business Continuity Action Items [PDF] for ideas on steps you can take now to improve readiness.

Create a Plan

Use Suffolk Ready to get started, as you'll be able to document and organize your continuity plans thanks to this tool.
Get Started

How Does My Department Create a Plan?

The Business Continuity Manager, a staff member of Suffolk’s Risk Management team, will contact someone in your department to begin the process of creating your department’s BCP. Suffolk University uses an online tool called Suffolk Ready to organize and document continuity plans. After meeting with the Business Continuity Manager, you will use your Suffolk login credentials to access the tool.

If you feel your department needs to begin creating a BCP plan right away, simply login to Suffolk Ready and create a new plan. As you work through the Suffolk Ready planning tool, pay close attention to the guidance provided on each planning page. You will find a Guidance section on the right hand side of each page within the tool. That section will help answer questions that you may have related to planning for your department. The Business Continuity Manager can provide additional support and guidance as you develop the plan.

What Information Do I Need to Get Started?

The Suffolk Ready tool provides detailed guidance during each step of the planning process. However, you may find it helpful to collect some information about your department before you begin creating your plan. One of the first and most challenging steps in creating a business continuity plan is to identify your department’s critical functions. Download and read How to Identify Critical Functions [PDF] for guidance on this step. Here is some additional information you will need to gather in order to begin the formal planning process:

  • Basic info about your department or office (e.g., number of staff and workstations)
  • List of your department’s critical functions and their level of criticality
  • List of other departments that yours depends upon to perform your critical functions
  • List of other departments that depend upon yours to perform their functions
  • Ideas for actions that you can take now to better prepare your area for a disruption
  • Ideas for how to perform your critical functions without access to your usual resources (e.g., space, computers, staff, etc.)
  • List of in-house and third-party software applications and tools that are essential to your work (e.g., Qualtrics, Canvas, Workday, etc.)
  • Documents to upload with your plan
  • List of courses (if you are an academic department)

Once you’ve gathered some information, login to Suffolk Ready and create a plan for your department. Plans that you have created or that have been assigned to you will be visible on your home page within Suffolk Ready.

How Can I Receive Assistance with the Planning Process?

Please contact Tim Albers, Business Continuity Manager, at 617-973-1142 or by email.