Planning Process

1. Assign a Continuity Planning Lead.

This is a periodic, part-time assignment to guide your department through the planning process and then annually review the department’s plan using Tufts Continuity Planner (web-based software). An effective lead is usually a staff member who has access to the department’s senior management. The role is part project manager, part group facilitator. They should begin by reviewing this planning process and viewing the Walkthrough of Tufts Continuity Planner.

They may also request an optional planning consultation to further introduce them to their role and discuss the planning process for their department.

2. Select the best approach for your department and develop the plan.

Team (recommended): Key staff periodically meet as a group to develop your continuity plan, with Tufts Continuity Planner projected in a conference or meeting room. Typically, the group will meet 1-2 hours/week while the Continuity Planning Lead completes some homework between meetings. The shared learning significantly improves the resulting plan, and the very discussions about issues of continuity make your department better prepared.

Delegated: Staff with discrete areas of responsibility log in to Tufts Continuity Planner on their own time and complete the section of the plan for which they are primarily responsible.

Individual: The continuity planning lead develops the continuity plan on their own using Tufts Continuity Planner, soliciting information from other staff members as needed.

3. Have your plan reviewed and participate in a tabletop exercise.

The Office of Emergency Management will review your plan and provide feedback. Your department will then participate in a low-stress, discussion-based exercise to validate the plan and socialize it among your team. Finally, the senior leader of your school or division (executive dean or VP) will review and approve your completed plan.

4. Pursue the completion of action items, and annually review/update your plan.

As you develop your plan, you’ll have several opportunities to identify actions items for improving continuity. Most of the planning process involves documenting your department’s current level of preparedness, but the action items are specific tasks for improving your department’s level of preparedness.

The Office of Emergency Management prepares an annual report on the continuity planning program for senior leaders that includes plan status (current, in progress, due for review), incidents requiring plan implementations, and completed action items.