Top 100 Tips for BCP Success in 2012 – Recovery Plans

This week: Top 10 Tips for Recovery Plans

  1. BIA results drive recovery plan development – Plan development should be  in line with the RTO and RPO results.
  2. Use a standardized template – Crafting a template will organize the plan process from the beginning. Even if not all aspects of the template apply to every plan, you know your team has thought it through.
  3. Develop plans in a phased approach – Tackling the process in steps can help ensure you are engaging the correct people for the specific task as well as not overwhelming them.. Take time to gather information, review and validate along the way.
  4. Address relevant outage scenarios – Use standard scenarios such as Loss of Building, Loss of Technology, Loss of Telecom, Loss of Resources, etc.

  5. Build plans needed in the first 5 days or less only – Focus attention and resources on essential services.  If you can recover what you need in the first 5 days, your business will survive.
  6. Mandate that business units own plan content – Ownership by the people who will use the plan during an event will help promote project buy-in as well as plan accuracy and updating.
  7. Content must be usable by multiple parties – Make sure content is understood and usable by team members besides the subject matter expert as there may be a situation where not all personnel can participate in the recovery.
  8. Seek to complete rapidly and improve over time – It is better to have a majority of the plan complete and available than wait for it to be perfect. Companies and Information Systems Technologies are frequently in flux so plan development may never be concluded.
  9. Update dynamic data quarterly, static annually – Updating plans is an ongoing process. Seek to update changes as they happen and verify all elements once a year.
  10. Strive to complete a plan in 40 hours or less – Sometimes overthinking can cause the information to be muddy. Scheduling time can increase focus and still provide the level of quality needed for recovery.

Next week … Top 10 Tips for Recovery Exercises

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.

Business continuity consulting for today’s leading companies.

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