Testing and Training
March 6, 2019 - A recent survey indicated that about 2/3 of the businesses that have continuity plans do not test them. Are you one of these businesses? If you don't test the plan, you will never be sure it will work as expected. There don't have to be elaborate scenarios or schemes; even simple tabletop testing will help you determine if things will go as planned.
1. Test the Plan, Plan the Test -- Why Successful Business Continuity Plans Are Put into Action Before a Crisis
A business continuity plan provides your company with the roadmap to navigate a major business disruption, including a natural disaster or large-scale emergency. However, having a plan in place is only the first step; the plan also needs to be continuously monitored and tested for gaps or obstacles.
2. Four Steps to Better Business Continuity Plan Testing
If you've never enacted your plan, it's hard to be confident that your plan will be sufficient. Testing your Business Continuity Plan (BCP) helps to continuously improve your ability to successfully recover from various scenarios, whether it be a natural disaster or a communications failure. The good news is that there's not just one way to test your BCP. Here are four steps to help you build a better Business Continuity Plan testing program and ensure you are prepared for any situation that may come your way.
3. Don't get hung up on the scenario when planning business continuity exercises
The author has seen many a business continuity manager, both experienced and not so experienced, devising the most fiendish and clever scenario they can think of and working the entire exercise around that scenario. This might be good for entertaining the team being exercised, pointing out a new risk and showing how clever the exercise planner is, but in terms of learning and improving the organization's capacity to manage an incident, this approach is of limited value. If the chosen scenario would have such a huge impact on the organization, it should be in the risk register, not in the exercise.
4. How Often Should a Business Continuity Plan Be Reviewed?
Creating an effective business continuity (BC) plan can be a challenge, especially at a large or fast-growing organization. But here's the harsh truth: The long and often difficult road of establishing a plan and getting it approved is just half the battle. Reviewing and testing the plan are steps you absolutely can't skip.
5. Training Your Employee after DR/BC Plan Development
Corporate-wide awareness training has been widely recognized as an important ingredient of an on-going, pro-active approach to disaster preparedness and recovery, crisis management, and business continuity planning and implementation. It has been suggested that senior management, functional management, and employees involved in disaster recovery and business continuity should be given awareness training at several phases of the business continuity planning and implementation project.
6. Training Employees to Recognize and Respond to Hazards
In an emergency, it can be hard to predict how employees will react. Training helps to increase predictability by giving employees the information that they need to make better decisions and react to emergencies faster. From determining whether they should evacuate or shelter in place to knowing who is in charge during an emergency and who can talk to reporters, the better trained that employees are to follow emergency procedures, the better the odds for a safe outcome.
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