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Welcome to PlanningSkills.COM

This website focuses on a wide variety of topics related to organization and individual planning situations. The primary focus is business planning.

Planning is an anticipatory decision making process that involves situation analysis, forecasting outcomes and events, evaluating alternative courses of action, anticipating consequences and considering implementation issues and contingencies. Planning often begins with asking one or more questions, for example: What if ...? Could we ...? Do we ...? Is it possible...? How should we respond ...? How can we ...? Is it feasible to ...?

In general, planning is a proactive process that is intended to help individuals, groups and organizations achieve performance objectives.

Featured Glossary Term

Continuity of Operations Plan

A Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) explains how critical operations that must be performed, or rapidly and efficiently resumed, in an emergency will be performed or resumed.

A Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) provides policy and guidance for personnel of a specific agency or specific organization to ensure that critical operations are continued in the event of an emergency or threat of an emergency.

As a baseline of preparedness for the full range of potential emergencies, all U.S. Federal agencies are required to establish and maintain a viable Continuity of Operations Plan capability, which ensures the performance of their essential functions during any emergency, or situation that may disrupt normal operations. A viable Continuity of Operations Plan capability identifies essential functions and consists of plans and procedures, alternate facilities, and alternate interoperable communications and data support systems, reinforced by comprehensive training, orientation, and training exercise programs. Continuity of Operations Plan capabilities must be maintained at a high level of readiness, be capable of being activated both with and without warning, achieve operational status no later than 12 hours after activation, and maintain sustained operations for up to 30 days or until termination.

Continuity of Operations planning objectives include the following:

a) Ensure the safety of personnel and visitors;
b) Provide for the ability to continue essential services (including conducting activities from a remote location, if necessary);
c) Provide for the protection of critical equipment, records and other assets;
d) Maintain efforts to minimize environmental impacts; and
e) Provide for an orderly response, recovery and mitigation from any incident.

Continuity of Operations planning is the promulgation of contingency plans, processes, and procedures to facilitate the performance of department/agency essential functions during any emergency situation that may disrupt normal operations.

Effective continuity planning establishes delineation of essential functions; specifies succession to office and the emergency delegation of authority; provides for the safekeeping of vital records and databases; identify alternate facilities; provides for interoperable communications; and validates this capability through tests, training, and exercise.

Featured Planning Tip

Know your strengths and weaknesses

Whether the situation is organizational or personal planning, conduct an analysis of capabilities and focus on strengths and weaknesses. Understand and identify strengths that help perform a task and reach objectives. When you consider weaknesses, evaluate ways to overcome or minimize them.

A strength is a resource, skill or other characteristic one is superior at relative to many competitors that helps meet the needs of the markets a firm serves or expects to serve. Strengths are internal characteristics of an organization that make it especially adapted to carrying out its tasks, or characteristics of the organization that competitors do not have, which may create a competitive advantage.

A weakness is a limitation or deficiency in resources, skills, or capabilities that seriously impedes a firmís effective performance. Weaknesses are internal characteristics of an organization that inhibit its ability to carry out tasks, or characteristics that the organization does not have that competitors do, which may create a competitive disadvantage.

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Copyright © 2004-15 by D. J. Power (see his home page). PlanningSkills.COMsm is maintained by Alexander P. and Daniel J. Power. Please contact them at with questions. See disclaimer and privacy statement. This page was last modified on December 8, 2015.