Imagine that a thunderstorm knocks out power to three buildings, where dozens of classes are scheduled. Or, Los Angeles traffic snarls freeways, and about a quarter of the campus can’t arrive for at least several hours. Or perhaps a computer problem freezes up the credit card and BroncoCard systems during lunch, leaving hungry students waiting to pay for their food.
Responding to and continuing operations during unexpected disruptions requires detailed planning. Cal Poly Pomona’s Business Continuity Program is dedicated to positioning the campus to continue providing its services despite disruptive events. Departments across campus are developing plans to address a variety of disruption scenarios to ensure critical campus operations and services continue with little interruption.
PolyReady, a business continuity planning web application, includes plans from departments campuswide that are committed to getting back to “business as usual.”
“Our goal is to prepare the campus to continue teaching, conducting research and carrying out its mission despite adverse events,” says Lisa Dye, business continuity analyst. “If there’s no power in the buildings or if hundreds of employees can’t make it to work, we should have well-thought-out workarounds to help us respond to and manage the situation.”
Unlike emergency management, which focuses on the protection and survival of individuals, business continuity plans for the protection and survival of the university as an organization. Planners consider a range of scenarios, from losing facilities to losing technology to losing people.
“Business continuity planning isn’t limited to worst-case scenario situations; it includes all threats to our organizations,” Dye says. “It could be used in non-emergency situations, such as a power outages or road closures.”
Not only is business continuity planning one of President Ortiz’s priorities for 2010-11, but it also is part of a system-wide effort in the CSU.
More information about business continuity planning and PolyReady is available at www.cpp.edu/~rms/bcp.shtml.