Suffolk Ready: 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 Business Continuity Planning (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.

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. NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT MOVE FORWARD WITH SUFFOLK READY UNTIL YOU ARE CONTACTED BY THE BUSINESS CONTINUITY MANAGER.

What can I do to learn more about BCP while I am waiting to be contacted?
Download and read both the Suffolk University Guide to Business Continuity Planning and How to Identify Critical Functions. Here is some of the information you will need to gather in order to begin the formal 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, Blackboard, Workday, etc.)
  • Documents to upload with your plan
  • List of courses (if you are an academic department)
How can I receive assistance with the planning process?
Once you have been contacted by the Business Continuity Manager, or if you feel your department needs to begin creating your BCP plan right away, please contact Tim Albers, Business Continuity Manager, at 617-973-1142 or talbers@suffolk.edu.