COOP in DoD – Part #3 of 10 – Determine the Impact!
This is the third 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.
An organization must identify its critical business functions using a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) prior to implementing a Business Continuity Management (BCM) plan. The same requirement exists within federal government and Department of Defense (DoD) agencies with a significant difference: these agencies must preserve their ability to accomplish their mission rather than their ability to retain revenue. Hence, federal government and DoD agencies implement a Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan by determining their Mission Essential Functions (MEFs). This paper, the third in a ten-part series, analyzes how a small Army Program performs the government equivalent of a BIA to determine its MEFs and to determine protections.
Neither the federal government, DoD, nor the Army define how a particular agency should determine its MEFs and prioritize them to meet policy requirements. This paper analyzes three different good-practice methodologies that enable the agency to identify and prioritize its MEFs in preparation for a formal Risk Assessment of the threats and hazards that face those MEFs. The paper closes by summarizing its findings presenting recommendations for the program manager (PM) to review.
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