What does BAU mean?

What does BAU mean?

What does BAU mean? BAU is the acronym for ‘Business As Usual’.

Business, As Usual, is the view of an organisation, business unit, work team or team member completing their everyday work in the normal way.

What is BAU?

BAU is work carried out as part of normal work practice. This is work for either an individual or a team. And is day to day.

Your Position Description lists tasks considered part of your BAU.

If for example, you are paid to be a project manager, then there are a set of tasks that you are expected to perform as part of your normal day.  These tasks would be managing the project delivery, updating risks and issues, communicating with the team, holding team meetings, updating the project schedule, etc.

Let’s look at some other examples of BAU.

  • In a call centre, it is answering calls from customers via the telephone, email or other means that are set up as standard ways for customers to contact the call centre;
  • A dedicated project team member, working on the set tasks that have been assigned to that work team or team member in order to produce the delivery outcomes;
  • An IT support team has tasks they would normally handle on a day to day basis for the system they are supporting.
  • For an IT programmer in .NET it is coding that he or she does as part of their day job.

What about on projects?

In the context of projects where there are shared resources, it is important that BAU activities are factored into resource estimation.

Staff often find that they cannot keep up with carrying out their BAU activities and their project-specific activities too.

Work slips and either way you have unhappy customers,  be that the project sponsor or Project Control Board, or the business customers that use your services.

Delays in getting their requests met will mean your customers will be unhappy.

Delivering a project back to BAU

When a project is finished and has been delivered to its specified scope, it is handed back to the business so that it becomes Business As Usual for them.

It is important to consider what handing back into a BAU state means, what is needed to transition the business into this occurring, and what support is needed for the business during this handover period.


Want to know more?  Consider the BAU versus Project Work Short Course.