Business Continuity Testing and Exercising

The best way to measure your business continuity and disaster preparedness plan is to put it in motion and test it. This is a great way to show management, employees, clients and prospects that you have done all you can to ensure business as usual, no matter what. Most important, testing will let you know if your plan will work, and, for some companies today, testing is a compliance issue. Over time, you will have to test all the elements of your plan, but you don't necessarily have to do them all at once. This week's articles will help you discover what a good test should accomplish and how to go about finding out if you can count on your plan in a disruption.

Like so many things in life, in order to become proficient in any physical or mental process, it is necessary to practice. (Item #1)   Business continuity and disaster recovery experts stress that business continuity plans and tests are essential for your IT disaster recovery environment, but why? (Item #2)   Could you really recover using your plan documentation? (Item #3)  

Here are six tips and three scenarios to get you started on a tabletop exercise. (Item #4)   Through testing, you will reduce both recovery time and risks, ultimately protecting your business and the employees and customers who rely on you. (Item #5)   Are you having a problem getting employees trained? (Item #6)  

And don;t forget to check out our Tabletop Exercise services - from custom designed and delivered exercises to Conduct It Yourself ones. Check out our website - - for more information.

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. In-crisis decision making: practice makes perfect

Some say there is no better learning curve in crisis management than managing through an actual crisis. However, what you actually apply during a crisis is your capabilities that exist at that time, including: inefficiencies in how your organization responds to a crisis; how it is managed; and how decisions are made. The risk of failure increases when you only consider what you know as an individual. As such, what you really must 'exercise' is the TEAM'S ability to make decisions.

2. Disaster recovery and business continuity testing best practices

Disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) testing has long been a pain point for many companies. Due to either budgetary restraints, a small DR staff, or limited resources and knowledge, companies in general do not plan and test their DR plans frequently enough.,295582,sid190_gci1516913,00.html

3. Testing Business Continuity Plans - Do You Do Enough?

Many more companies have come to realize that the development and implementation of a Business Continuity Program is now a good business practice. Every year the plan gets that Auditor's tick mark and people point to the report and say that they are covered should a disaster occur. And every year the plan gets put back into the binder and put back on the shelf only to be dusted off next year.

4. Tabletop Exercises: Three Sample Scenarios

A tabletop exercise is a great way to get business continuity plans off the written page without the interruption of a full-scale drill. Rather than actually simulating a disaster, the crisis management group gathers for three hours to talk through a simulated disaster. It can be a full-scale production that involves local first responders and professional moderators. Or it can be a simple affair conducted by in-house disaster planners.

5. Prepare my business: Tabletop testing checklist

Testing is a critical component of business continuity planning. If your systems went down, how long would it take to get them up and running again, and what would be required to achieve that goal? Where are the gaps in your recovery plan and how can you close those gaps before a disaster strikes? Testing your continuity plan is the best way to ensure that your business will remain in operation no matter what, or that it can be quickly restored under any circumstances

6. How do I Promote Training for Business Continuity Plan?

One of the biggest struggles that any company faces with its business continuity plan is getting the company employees up to speed on the plan. Training for the business continuity plan is often seen as a low priority task. Get your employees excited about the business continuity plan to make it as effective as possible.

Quote of the Week:

"Practice is everything. This is often misquoted as Practice makes perfect."
-- Periander

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Attainium Corp
15110 Gaffney Circle
Gainesville, VA 20155