Do you have a Plan B?
Do you have a Plan B?
“If Plan A doesn’t work – stay calm, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet!”
Around here a backup plan can mean lots of things – we keep backups of all our websites, we keep backups of our design files and other documents, both onsite and offsite. This is to insure that should there be a blip of any kind we have a starting place for restoration.
But how do you create a backup for the human brains behind the operation? We’ve had a little bit of experience dealing with unplanned, extended absences in the past couple of years – from cancer to broken bones and travel snafus. As much as we try and plan our lives sometimes things just don’t go the way we intend. And sometimes the usual person for a particular type of problem is on vacation and there’s an issue that needs to be resolved. So how do you prepare other people on your team to handle whatever may be thrown their way during the absence of the ‘usual’ person?
Here are a few tips that have helped us!
Create step-by-step documents.
While this can be a bit time consuming, it usually pays for itself after the first use. For me this means sitting down and going through a process and at the same type documenting each button click and choice along the way.
Every so often it’s not a bad idea to gather your co-workers together and discuss what you’d learned – whether it’s a better way to do a task, or a new web component – it’s always good to share what you learn, including the things that didn’t go so well!
The ability to access work files from home can be extremely helpful when you have a team member that can’t get into the office, but is still able to work from home. Check with your IT company or network administrator and see if this something that’s available to you. It could be an employee that has an emergency and can’t come to the office, or it could be a snow day and your team can continue to work from home to meet deadlines.
Document Access Information
Today, most any business has multiple types of accounts online. A company may have a facebook account, twitter account, travel site accounts, email and webmail accounts, etc. There should be a place where all your access information is available to more than just one person. We’ve had projects in the past where the person in the company that set up the YouTube or Facebook account left the business and didn’t pass along the admin information to anyone else – not only can you not update your page/channel, you can’t control what others put on it!
A little planning and forethought on the front end can save you a lot of stress and time on the backend! So if you don’t have a backup plan, sit down with your team and talk through what types of information needs to be covered for each team member and decide the best way to cover your bases. You’ll be glad you did!