COOP in DoD – Part #1 of 10 – Define the Landscape

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This paper, the first in a ten-part series, analyzes how a full Continuity of Operations (COOP) program can be implemented for a small, non-mission-critical Army program operating under tight budgetary and personnel constraints.

The Department of Defense (DoD) and the federal government recognize the value of ensuring continuity of government (COG) for all operations deemed critical to the health of the nation. However, this emphasis on protecting only the “most critical” systems can detract from the resiliency of smaller operations. The “iron triangle” of project scope, cost, and schedule can prove difficult enough to work under during the best times as an organization works to accomplish its mission; adding the expense of maintaining resiliency when things go massively wrong can sometimes be seen as a misdirection of scarce resources.

This paper begins by understanding the policy guidelines that drive the larger organization and the Army program. It then analyzes the program to determine what areas either hinder or support the establishment of a COOP program. The paper then closes by providing recommendations on how some possible COOP program implementation problems can, as well as the steps to be addressed in the next paper.

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