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Business Continuity Planning

Questions to Consider

Whether you are a newbie or an expert, it is a good idea to get outside assistance when developing or enhancing your business continuity plan. To help, we have categorized and listed some questions to consider:

Plan Development

  • Who at your credit union will be involved? What are their roles, responsibilities, and required skills?
  • From which third-party service providers will you need assistance?
  • What foreseeable disruptions should you consider? See our disaster recovery FAQ for some examples.
  • What are the more likely disruptions (i.e. snowstorm, hurricane)?

Operational Considerations

  • What key services and functionality can you not do without? Are they people, facilities, IT/security, technology? Which of those need to be operational or backed up as soon as possible?
  • What is the minimum number of employees you need to operate?
  • What equipment is required for you to conduct business as usual?
  • What supplies are essential? Is it your ATM operating, or perhaps the amount of cash you have on hand?
  • What steps do you need to take immediately to protect your employees and members to minimize damages?

Communication Considerations

  • How long into an outage or disruption should your plan escalate?
  • What predetermined escalation thresholds do you already have in place, and at what point are your members notified?

Technology Considerations

  • Do you have a plan in place that establishes the prioritization and procedures necessary to recover functions, services, and processes?
  • What technology is dependent on others?
  • What network equipment, connectivity, and communication needs does your credit union require to operate? Also, consider entity-owned and personal mobile devices, as they may be necessary to operate.

Security Considerations

  • What critical information do you need to protect? Is it in physical paper copies, electronic format, a hybrid of both, or located off-site (such as a home office)?

Logistics Considerations

  • Should a disaster occur, what logistic arrangements are required?
  • Do you need to provide housing, transportation, or food for the personnel reporting to your recovery location?
  • Is your credit union capable of working remote?
  • If you were to shut down temporarily, at what capacity could the government or outside organizations provide assistance to your company and employees?
  • Does your credit union have more than one branch?
  • If only one branch is affected in a disaster, what arrangements can be made for those permanently located at that facility?

Procedural Considerations

  • What policies or procedures do you need to establish or update in the event of a disaster?
  • How frequently will you test your plan and at what scope?

Other Considerations

  • How long will it take to resume a normalized state of business processes?
  • If your business were to shut down, what would that impact be over the course of a few days, weeks, or months? You should note potential business impacts, such as lost or delayed sales, increased expenses, regulatory fines, member frustration or dissatisfaction, and reputational damages.
  • Do you have a comprehensive succession plan and backup duties assigned? Who is the backup if your CEO is unavailable? Who takes over your CFO’s responsibilities?

It is equally as essential to factor time into your equations. When, and for how long, the disruption occurs will drastically impact your disaster recovery efforts.