A contingency plan is developed to prepare a company to face abnormal situations and mitigate the impact of sudden disasters. The plan describes the procedure to be followed in the event of failure of one or more critical systems.
The implementation of a contingency plan depends on the size of the organization and the resources available during the crisis. The plan must be designed, reviewed and accepted by management. The plan should be shared with key members of the organization. Companies should periodically execute the steps outlined in the plan as an exercise, so they are ready when the need arises.
The business must have a contingency team that assumes the operations and implements the plan for each type of risk identified. Equipment failure due to natural disasters and sabotage may be covered by insurance. The staff implementing the contingency plan must know the contact details of the people or service providers who will be contacted during the emergency situation, for help in resolving the problem and restoring business operations to normal.
Communication and notification are an important part of implementing a contingency plan. If a major business location is affected by fire or flood, the plan might be to relocate employees and equipment to another location. To implement this plan to move operations to a new location, a good communication plan must be in place. If the problem arises during working hours, the evacuation procedure must be followed and the emergency help lines must be used for assistance. The people responsible for the implementation of the contingency plan must be able to contact all employees by a previously agreed mode (phone / email / SMS) and inform them to report to work at the new location until the old one can work again. again. Vendors, distributors and outside customers should also be notified of the change in location, and who to contact to resume operations and contact details.
Contingency planning is important during the execution of a project. If a key team member goes down, another team member needs to be able to step in to perform important tasks. If the project follows good knowledge sharing practices and has good documentation, it will make it easier to induct new support staff (developers/testers) for assistance. It is important to communicate to the client that the absence of the usual person will not affect the project delivery schedule. If the project runs into issues that are likely to affect budget or schedule, the person(s) implementing the contingency plan should know what to communicate to the client. The person must also know how and when information should be sent to convince the customer that steps have been taken to mitigate the risks and control the situation. The implementer should follow up and send status updates to keep management and the customer informed during a problem situation.
Early warning systems should be in place to notify/escalate issues to the appropriate person(s) in charge. Analysis, evaluation, coordination, prioritization and preparation are the key elements to implement a plan. Contingency plans must be updated regularly and lessons learned from each incident must be incorporated into the plan.