So How Long Should It Take to Develop a Working Recovery Program?

We are often asked how long it will take to develop a recovery program that is comprehensive, executable and maintainable.  There is no easy answer to this question.  We have been part of recovery programs that were established and fully executable within 18 months of inception and have seen others that have languished with no success for years, wasting resources, time and effort.  So, what differentiates successful programs from those that fail?  Here are criteria we feel makes a program successful:


  • Proven BCP Methodologies Form Basis for the Program
  • Educated Management and Employees
  • Continuous Management Support
  • Availability of Internal and External Resources
  • Dollars for Investment into the Program
  • Management has a Goal for Ultimate State of the Program
  • Information Technology and the Business Work Together
  • Well Trained Planners Who Can Execute and Get the Job Done


We will say that the industries that are highly regulated make it much easier to get programs implemented versus those that are not.    But, many non-regulated businesses are realizing that BCP makes good business sense in today’s world and is not just overhead.  Additionally, more Board of Directors have a keen interest in how their programs are doing and what exposure they have, if any.


What is concerning to us are those cases where management did not want to present the real capabilities or lack thereof to the Board Members.  In our minds, if a program is not executable, we will not represent it any other way.  Plans or strategies that have no basis for success cannot be represented as such.  Additionally, we run into organizations where people are unwilling to divulge how bad it really is versus see this effort as an opportunity for improvement.


We have seen our efforts make a difference in how a business operates through the purchase of new technology, added resiliency, outsourcing of ineffective operations, migration to hardened colocation data centers, diversification of business operations, etc.


So, how long should it take to establish your recovery program?  It depends!



Michael Herrera is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MHA. In his role, Michael provides global leadership to the entire set of industry practices and horizontal capabilities within MHA. Under his leadership, MHA has become a leading provider of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services to organizations on a global level. He is also the founder of BCMMETRICS, a leading cloud based tool designed to assess business continuity compliance and residual risk. Michael is a well-known and sought after speaker on Business Continuity issues at local and national contingency planner chapter meetings and conferences. Prior to founding MHA, he was a Regional VP for Bank of America, where he was responsible for Business Continuity across the southwest region.

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