COOP in DoD – Part #10 of 10 – COOP Plan

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This is the tenth paper in a set of 10 on Department of Defense (DoD) Continuity of Operations (COOP) targeted to the oft-overlooked smaller program; this paper’s topic is on Business Continuity Management. Written as part of the Master’s program in Information Assurance (IA) at Norwich University in 2011 and subsequently submitted to the Federal IT Institute, they provide a complete roadmap to create and operate a compliant, cost-effective, and reliable COOP program throughout DoD.

Smaller federal agencies and programs often do not implement Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plans because such planning does not meet the bar required of a “national essential function.” This impacts national security because:

  • Preventable service disruptions can occur, with subsequent loss of availability.
  • Disruptions within many smaller programs each year aggregate into significant failure.
  • Misunderstanding the interrelationships between smaller and larger programs adds unnecessary risk.

This paper analyzes policy from the commercial, federal, DOD, and Army levels to argue that most (if not all) programs within the public sector should implement cost-efficient COOP Plans. A reference COOP Plan derived from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), tailored to a small Army Program use case, provides a valuable strategy and planning asset for the COOP practitioner within the federal space.

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