Tech Valley Continuity LLC
Turning Potential Disasters into an Annoyance®
How Do I Test My Plan?
One of the most important parts of the Business Continuity Process is testing. There are four basic ways to test a plan:
Reading / Review: Tech Valley Continuity recommends this review occur every 6 months. The reviewer is looking for completeness of information, especially with respect to personnel changes or material changes in business operations.
Tabletop Exercise: Performed with a group of individuals, a facilitator presents a series of events and the participants determine how they should respond. Ideally, they will be referencing their Business Continuity Plan for guidance and accuracy, but this technique is also used to begin identifying mitigating or preventative solutions. This should be done annually.
Functional Exercise: This where you do something physical. Exercise your notification system. Perform an IT recovery exercise at your alternate data center - check to make sure the applications work. Relocate some operations to the alternate work facility.
Actual Event: The ultimate test of any Business Continuity Plan is to experience an event. If you have a facility fire, flooding event, computer crash, high absenteeism (or any combination of the above) your preparedness will be the ultimate test. Just make sure it is not your first test - or you will fail.
Except for the Actual Event, testing of the Business Continuity Plan is not a Pass/Fail exam. It is a learning experience designed to identify areas for improvement. Make them challenging - always pushing the envelope. Record what went right and record what went wrong. Develop a course of action to strengthen and improve your ability to recover.
Don't take shortcuts. Remember, your livelihood, your fellow employees, and to some extent the community, are relying on the planning team and the strategies they implement.
Tech Valley Continuity, LLC. provides business continuity and disaster recovery planning services to a wide range of public and private organizations. Services include: Risk Analysis (RA), Business Impact Analysis (BIA), Plan Testing and Plan Audits for key vendors and customers. We model our Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity plans against the national standard - NFPA 1600 Standard on Disaster / Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs
Tech Valley Continuity, LLC. promotes a full and complete business continuity planning process, performed with due diligence and conforming to industry best practices, and Tech Valley Continuity, LLC. asserts that only by employing these practices and applying them to your unique business environment can a comprehensive business continuity plan be developed.
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