A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the concept of back-up planning (see editorial link below) and readers were good enough to offer up suggestions of their own.My take was rather simple: Ensure your staff is crossed trained, so if someone quits, gets fired or is out for a day or even an extended period of time, your work can proceed uninterrupted. It\u2019s one of those to-dos that\u2019s so simple and makes so much sense, it\u2019s easy to overlook. It can get pushed to the back burner in light of more pressing matters and emergencies, and before you know it you\u2019re short staffed and no one knows how to do the job of the absent person. Unfortunately, that\u2019s a scenario many of us have come to experience given wave upon wave of layoffs we\u2019ve been suffering over the past two years.Here are a couple of excellent tips sent in by your colleagues:* One of my warnings was to make sure the documents on how to do each job are stored on your network. This guards against this critical information being stored only on a staffer\u2019s computer, which is difficult to access if the staffer \u2013 and the computer \u2013 are not in the office. One reader shared how his company guards against such an occurrence: \u201cWe use a \u2018Wiki server\u2019 to share knowledge. In short a Wiki server is like an electronic blackboard where everyone can type in their notes, ideas, solutions, etc. This might sound like good old news groups, but it is much more efficient with keeping the information up-to-date. Besides that, there are many good implementations that are distributed as open source software.\u201d Our friend was also good enough to pass along a URL where you can find more information: https:\/\/wiki.org\/wiki.cgi?WhatIsWiki* Another reader brought up a point I totally missed: This type of exercise is crucial to disaster and contingency planning:\u201cThe only thing I can add is the need to include the dependencies, internal\u00a0 and external, between each employee with other employees, departments,\u00a0 customers, etc.\u00a0 So if Employee B is prepared to assume to job of Employee\u00a0 A, and Employee D for Employee C, and there is a critical operational\u00a0 dependency between A and C, B and D - know this.\u201cIn IT security, too many times the nontechnical issues are ignored. . . . If a firewall administrator is not present, his work is not documented, and an attack or penetration takes place, or the firewall configuration is compromised, if no one is prepared to administer this emergency, the consequence is financial and can be disastrous.\u00a0 I have one customer where this happened, and not only was no one else prepared, even if they had someone, the firewall administrator and IT manager had not written down (and of course, safely guarded) the firewall system password.\u00a0 [The] consequence was that they shut down the firewall and suffered a serious penetration.\u201dMy thanks to everyone who sent in such thoughtful advice. Let\u2019s get those contingency plans up to date.