Testing and Training

We can't say it often enough... don't let your first disaster become the test for your business continuity plan! If you want to be sure the plan will work and everyone understands what they have to do, you must test your entire plan at least once a year and perhaps test different parts of it more often. This week's articles all discuss the importance of testing and training and provide some help in setting up your own tests.

Training doesn't have to be complicated to work well. (Item #1)   How can you communicate the value of BC training? (Item #2)   Financial institutions have some requirements for validating their plans. (Item #3)  

Don't waste the resources you put into your plan… make sure everyone knows it's there and how to use it. (Item #4)   Here are some keys to moving beyond the concept stage. (Item #5)   Read about some of the issues in testing and see how some organizations got it wrong.
(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 bmellinger@attainium.net.

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp



1. The Importance of Training an Organization in the Use of Its Business Continuity Plan

Numerous benefits can flow from training your employees to implement your business continuity plan, from aiding in its development to improving your state of readiness. Training needn't be complicated to work well -- simply having each person read the plan and then conduct a live test can suffice.
http://www.ehow.com/about_7417689_importance-its-business-continuity-plan.html


2. How to Promote Training for Business Continuity Plan

If your business has to close because it was swamped in a major flood, quickly relocating, setting up temporary operations and having resources to pay or attract employees while your business site is reclaimed are parts of a comprehensive continuity plan. Communicating the value created for a business entity by having a continuity plan is critical in your efforts to promote continuity training.
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/promote-training-business-continuity-plan-4523.html


3. Principles of the Business Continuity Testing Program for Financial Institutions

Risk monitoring and testing is necessary to ensure that the business continuity planning process remains viable through the incorporation of the BIA and risk assessment into an enterprise-wide BCP and testing program. The testing program has become a key focus of banking supervisors, in light of recent, catastrophic events, and has received heightened attention within the financial services industry because such a program can be used to validate the viability of the BCP. As such, there are various principles that should be followed by financial institutions when developing a testing program.
http://www.ffiec.gov/ffiecinfobase/booklets/bcp/bcp_06.html


4. Designing a Business Continuity Training Program to Maximize Value & Minimize Cost

Business continuity is a key component of an organization's risk management program. However, employees are often unaware of the existence of the program, or their role within the business continuity effort. Can management rely on a business continuity program if employees are unaware of their response and recovery strategies? No - and as a result, the time and resources invested in the planning effort are often wasted.
http://www.continuityinsights.com/cdn/cms/Training.pdf


5. Keys to Narrowing Business Continuity Planning Gaps: Training, Testing & Audits

A Business Continuity Plan is not a plan until it has been tested; it is only theory, sheets of paper in a binder. A program of training, exercises, and tests moves plans beyond the concept stage, provides training opportunities for employees, and helps identify needed corrections in procedures and plans.
http://www.ism.ws/files/Pubs/Proceedings/2010ProcBC2-Kildow.pdf


6. Testing your contingency plans, successfully

The end objective of the business continuity consulting project has to be to conduct a successful test, but perhaps you can understand the nervy position of the internal organizer; it is a tricky one to call and far easier NOT to test. Contingency plans count for little if they are untested. This article discusses the issues involved and begins with cases drawn from real life of how to get it wrong…
http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature0315.htm


Quote of the Week:

"Practice is the best of all instructors"
-- Publilius Syrus


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Attainium Corp
15110 Gaffney Circle
Gainesville, VA 20155
www.attainium.net