Writing BCP’s is where the rubber meets the road. You may have a sound recovery strategy in place but if your business units do not have the cookbook to execute a successful recovery, your recovery strategy is null and void. So, how do we make sure we write plans that work? We follow the following approach:
1. Identify the plan owners who are ultimately responsible for plan development and completion. Identify the plan developers; these people are responsible for tactically completing the plan.
2. Training in the BCP process and plan development is critical to long-term success. Prior to beginning plan development, we hold training sessions with the individuals assigned to being the plan owner and plan developers. This session is designed to provide BCP 101 education and the steps in creating a successful plan that will work when needed.
3. A phased approach to building a BCP has worked well for MHA. Gloria Sargent, our BCP practice leader, has developed a repeatable, phased approach to developing client BCP’s. This four (4) phase approach is as follows:
· Phase I: Information gathering and validation of specific requirements (e.g., technology, staffing, contact information, timelines, etc.).
· Phase II: Development of recovery strategies, prioritization of business functions and continuation of overall validation process.
· Phase III: Final review, validation and desktop exercise of all plan components by leadership personnel.
· Phase IV: Approval and sign-off by the senior leadership.
This approach has been successfully used by MHA for hundreds of BCP’s at small, medium and large organizations.
4. Report plan development (green, yellow, red) to management outlining the current progress.
5. Additionally, we believe you should certify the plan owners, developers and recovery team members by having them successfully complete tests to validate their knowledge of the BCP process and their recovery plans.
About MHA: MHA Consulting, with its decade-long track record, is a proven leader in business continuity planning, disaster recovery planning, IT best practices and data center moves and relocations. Every day, MHA helps protect trillions of dollars of global-market assets and top companies around the world rely on MHA services for the continuity of their business. For more information on MHA, contact Michael Herrera at herrera at mha-it dot com.