Facilitating a successful disaster recovery exercise is like putting together a watch. There are many pieces but once put together properly, work in synch. Achieving exercise success requires a repeatable process that can be executed time and time again. Here are some high level tips to consider:
90 days before:
- Start formal planning.
- Identify the systems and applications to exercise. Receove approval from management.
- Update or document system and application recovery plans for the systems and applications to exercise.
- Determine level of system and application testing (e.g., standalone, integrated, business process, etc.).
- Review exercise with IT management.
- Validate schedule of testing with your alternate site.
60 days before
- Document timeline of the exercise from beginning to end.
- Document exercise plan detailing the scope, assumptions, objectives and tasks to successfully execute the exercise.
- Complet update and/or documentation of system and application recovery plans.
- Hold weekly meetings with all participants.
- Train new participants in the process.
- Document and resolve action items.
- Schedule logistical issues such as travel, food, lodging, alternate site access, etc.
- Identify date of the data to be restored.
- Validate the alternate site will be fully operational and configured.
- Determine method to sterilize the alternate site of any confidential data.
30 days to Date of Exercise
- Finalize all system and application recovery plans.
- Finalize exercise coordinator tasklists and timelines.
- Finalize offsite storage needs and schedule for transport to alternate site.
- Complete any change management requests needed to complete the exercise.
- Hold final session with participants.
- Close out action items.
- Secure and account for all data coming and leaving the alternate site.
- Execute the exercise.
- Document all issues during the exercise.
About MHA: MHA Consulting is a leading boutique Business Continuity Planning, Disaster Recovery and IT Optimization consulting services firm for Fortune 1000 companies. Visit our website at www.mha-it.com .