Management Continuity Quiz


Rick Allen, Ph.D. and Francine Toder, Ph.D. © 2003

Management Continuity Planning Associates




The following questions will help you assess whether your management continuity planning is adequate in the event of business disruption due to natural or human causes. Each YES response counts as 1. Your score (sum of YES responses) will indicate the appropriate actions to take in order to minimize your business risk.



1.      Do all senior managers, directors and executive staff have clearly defined job descriptions?


2.      Do all of your key senior staff have direct reports who know the basics of their responsibilities and could cover for them?



3.      Do on-going projects have sufficiently detailed descriptions to enable your company to proceed if the individual in charge were to suddenly leave?


4.      Will key projects be carried to fruition even if the person in charge is suddenly and unexpectedly not available?


5.      Do you have a disaster response plan?


6.      If yes to 5 above, does this plan help you maintain operations if key managers are unable to work?


7.      Is communication at the executive level primarily formal (e.g., email, memos, meetings, etc.)?


8.      If no to 7 above, is communication primarily informal (e.g., conversations, brainstorms, team meetings, etc.)?


9.      Have you run a “communigram” exercise to determine what the informal lines of communication are within your organization?


10.  Have you assessed how communication takes place in various departments to carry out your business strategies?


11.  Is someone designated within your company to mediate disputes/conflicts?


12.  If no to 11 above, have you considered developing this function?


13.  Is there one person without whom your company would flounder?


14.  Do you have a contingency plan to develop key positions as needed?


15.  Are plans in place to operate without key senior staff for a brief period of time?    


16.  If yes to 15 above, can you continue for a month or longer?


17.  Will critical functions proceed smoothly in the absence of a certain person or persons?


18.  Do you have a leadership development program in place?


19.  Is there a single individual who knows your customers, and their needs, best?


20.  Without this person, (#19 above) would your customer relations suffer?


21.  Do you have a plan to maintain customer relations if key executives are lost?


22.  Do you have a 5 year continuity plan?


23.  Do you have a 10 year plan?


24.  Is there a manager who is so integral to long term planning and goals that your

  company would not move ahead effectively without this person?


  25. Is your company’s vision solidified enough to withstand the loss of a key executive?






A    A score of 17-19 indicates adequate readiness for business disruption.


A    A score between 12-16 indicates a need to expand or further develop your management

co  continuity planning.


A score below 12 indicates the presence of significant risk and requires immediate allocation of resources to maintain adequate management continuity and avoid business disruption.