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Resiliency Management Model: Communications

July 2009 White Paper

In this paper, the authors describe the purpose of Communications: to develop, deploy, and manage communications to support resiliency activities and processes.


Software Engineering Institute


Communication is a basic organizational activity and competency. From a resiliency perspective, communication is an essential function, tying together disparate parts of the organization that collectively have a vested interest in the protection of high-value assets and services and the sustainability of assets and services during and after a disruptive event. 

Internally, communication processes are embedded in operational resiliency management processes such as incident management, governance, and compliance, and support the development and execution of sustainability plans; externally, communication processes provide much needed information to relevant stakeholders on the capability of the organization to protect and sustain assets and services, handle disruptions, and preserve customer confidence in unsettled and stressful times. Most importantly, communications are a critical success factor in ensuring the successful execution of continuity of operations plans and decision making, particularly during a crisis or disaster. 

The Communications process area seeks to capture the communications activities that support and enable effective management of operational resiliency. This requires foundational processes for basic and ongoing communications needs as well as more flexible ones for supporting the communications demands of managing events and executing service continuity plans. In the Communications process area, the organization establishes communications requirements that reflect the needs of stakeholders that are important to managing operational resiliency. Communications guidelines and standards are developed to ensure the consistency and accuracy of messages and communication methods across all resiliency processes. The communications infrastructure is established and managed to ensure effective and continuous communications flow when needed. The organization also regularly assesses its communications abilities, particularly after an event, incident, or crisis, to revise communications requirements and to make improvements in the type and media of communications and the communications infrastructure. 

The Communications process area focuses on communications processes that directly support the management of operational resiliency. These processes are likely to be part of a larger (and in some cases, enterprise-wide) communications process in the organization. Thus, the Communications process area is not considered a substitute for this larger process.