COOP in DoD – Part #2 of 10 – Start it Up!

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This is the second paper in a set of 10 on Department of Defense (DoD) Continuity of Operations (COOP) that target the oft-overlooked smaller program as a use case. 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.

This paper, the second in a ten-part series, provides useful techniques to jump-start 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.

For “national mission essential functions” (NMEFs), the Department of Defense (DoD) provides clear policy guidance on the need for a verifiable Continuity of Operations (COOP) program, which is the military and federal government equivalent of an implemented Business Continuity Management (BCM) plan. Establishing a COOP Program within a smaller Army program, with that Army program’s less ambitious mission, can be challenging although still necessary for the Army program to achieve its mission. This paper, the second in a ten-part series, examines how such a program can be started within a small Army program.

Because a COOP Program affects the entire organization to which applies, one must have direct support from the top. In fact, a COOP Program works best when implemented in conjunction with a clear chain of command so that every person within the organization understands his or her role. This paper presents a simple and effective set of techniques to motivating one’s “champion,” tailoring Army policies to meet the local program’s COOP requirements, and assigning responsibilities to key organizational stakeholders. The paper closes with a summary and recommendations for next steps.

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