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What Sort of Teams Will Your Organization Need?

That’s a great question, and the answer will depend on a variety of factors. The first will be the size of your organization. Size is directly proportional to complexity of recovery and the greater the complexity the more people—and teams—that will be required.

There are other things to consider, as well. Generally speaking, the larger the organization, the more difficult it is to buy something. That might mean that you need a Finance team whose function is to have standing purchase orders "in the pipe" and as part of the recovery plan. These purchase orders would, under a disaster situation, be used to circumvent the normal purchasing procedure to get the equipment you need to recover NOW.

Similarly, a larger organization might need to surround the affected facility with a dozen "rent-a-cops" to avoid looting and protect the damaged facility. So you might need a Security team.

You get the idea. Consider the size and dynamics of your organization and then use a Checklist like the one in the following table to help you determine where staff support is required and whether you should have a team.

As you go through this thought process, however, remember that you might be operating in two, three, or even four different locations after a disaster. Some teams will be required at the damaged facility. Others will be required in setting up a new place across town to conduct business until the original facility is restored. A third set of teams might have to travel thousands of miles to a disaster recovery center. And, don’t forget that a small contingent will have to support the EMT as well.

All this means that more teams than you first thought might be necessary, each with unique responsibilities and needs in a disaster. The following table assumes two locations: the Recovery Headquarters and the Affected Site. This should suffice for a small- to medium-sized company.

You could easily see however how the table might mushroom into three or four columns for larger organizations. If this is you, consider adding two more columns: Recovery Center and New Permanent Business Location.

Support Function

Recovery Headquarters

Affected Site

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

X

 

FACILITIES

X

X

FINANCE

X

 

RISK MANAGEMENT

X

 

INTERNAL AUDIT

X

 

LABOR RELATIONS

X

 

LEGAL

X

 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

X

X

OFFICE SERVICES

 

 

MAIL SERVICES

X

 

SECURITY

X

X

SHIPPING & RECEIVING

X

X

MEDICAL

X

X

PUBLIC AFFAIRS

X

X

PURCHASING

X

 

TRANSPORTATION

X

 

Reprinted with permission from Leo Wrobel’s upcoming new book, Business Resumption Planning Second Edition, coming soon (summer 2007). (Preorder now at Amazon.com or your favorite bookstore.) [cr]2007 Taylor Publishing, New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
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