All organisations, big and small, are built on their staff. But for many reasons staff might not be available, either for a few days or weeks, or permanently. They might win lotto; they (or their family) might get unwell or suffer an accident; they might get a better offer; or they might just want a change. Whatever the reason, resilient organisations accept this as a continuity risk and plan for it.
At Tigertail like many businesses we are experiencing rapid growth and change and have given this particular risk a bit of thought. We manage key-person risk by taking a number of steps that we recommend all businesses consider:
Document your policies, procedures, approaches and methods to allow others to quickly come up to speed
Document project plans and workplans
Provide regular progress reports
Store project information, including background documents, research or consultation reports or data and draft deliverables where they can be easily found and shared
Implement a robust peer-review process for proposals and deliverables
Work in small teams and share the work wherever practicable
Multi-skill staff wherever possible
Managing the risk of staff dis-continuity makes good business sense. Not only does it mitigate an obvious risk, it builds a collegiate environment and culture where staff support each other, ask for help when they need it, and take shared ownership of business productivity.