Testing Your Business Continuity Plan

If you haven't tested your business continuity plan lately, how can you be sure it's up to date? People may have come and gone or equipment may have changed, and, if so, the plan may not work. It's important that the plan is tested and people are trained so that, if disaster strikes, your organization will be back up and running with as little down time as possible. This week's articles look at the challenges and best practices of testing and training.

The key components of an effective Exercise can be broken down into three simple activities. (Item #1)   Could you really recover using your plan documentation? (Item #2)   In a disaster, would your people be doing what they were trained to do? (Item #3)  

Here are 7 steps for developing a business continuity plan which included setting your goals and objectives, and measure your success to ensure your program is tested prior to swinging into action. (Item #4)   This article captures thoughts, observations and industry best practices regarding plan testing. (Item #5)   The better prepared you are the easier it will be to manage the situation and recover from it quickly. (Item #6)  

As always, we look forward to hearing your comments & insights regarding business continuity. If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, email me at [email protected].

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. The Art of Effective Exercising

As we are all aware, a Business Continuity Management plan is only effective if it accurately reflects the needs, technology and structure of the organization. But, more importantly, a Business Continuity Management plan can only be considered to be truly effective if the content and the components of the plan have been exercised.

2. Testing Business Continuity Plans - do you do enough?

Many more companies have come to realize that the development an implementation of a Business Continuity Program is now a good business practice. The existence of this program gives the executives, the staff, the Board of Directors and shareholders a feeling of confidence in the effective and quick recovery of the business operations in the event of a disaster.

3. Training - Why Bother? Exercises - Who needs them? Training and Exercises Pay off

Everyone knows about USAir flight 1549 from New York to Charlotte; it ended up in the Hudson River. Everyone also knows about the flight's captain who - with his co-pilot - brought the plane safely down. Everyone knows that, save for some bruises and hypothermia, all of the passengers and crew escaped serious injury. Who deserves the credit? The crew said they were just doing "what they were trained to do."

4. Testing Your Business Continuity Plan Before Disaster Does

Creating a Business Continuity Program (BCP) is one thing, putting it to the test is something entirely different. Your plan will be tested for sure in one of two ways, either pro-actively prior to an emergency event or reactively in response to a disaster recovery situation.

5. Business Continuity Plan Testing: Considerations and Best Practices

Organizations now face the daunting task of validating the plans they created and training their recovery personnel to use the new documents. Having never organized or conducted a business continuity test (or exercise), new business continuity management (BCM) coordinators are looking for guidance regarding the best and most cost-effective process to validate plan content.

6. Testing your BCP - The Challenges - The Solutions

Whether it's the risk of being affected by the H1N1 swine flu pandemic at corporate headquarters in Chicago or the distribution facility in Florida being flattened by a hurricane or the loss of private data from the theft of a laptop with important strategic information on it, having Business Continuity Plan (BCP) has never been as important. Testing the plan on a regular basis should be a top priority for all organizations that are serious about being prepared for any type of disaster.

Quote of the Week:

"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."
-- Winston Churchill

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Attainium Corp
15110 Gaffney Circle
Gainesville, VA 20155