For the second to last post of this series we will cover the Top 10 Tips for Recovery Exercises.
- Be “Disaster Ready” not “Exercise” Ready – It’s easy to focus on exercise procedures, especially if you test your plans frequently. Make sure personnel and plans are testing a real disaster scenario, not just the exercise.
- Establish exercise standards by RTO and RPO – Exercise applications based on RTO and RPO requirements; higher criticality means frequent exercises.
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Determine recovery sequence and pre-requirements within each RTO group.
- Create exercise roadmap to maximize consistency – Use a standard roadmap outlining the steps to take before each and every exercise from 60 days out to the day of the exercise. This ensures exercises become a process.
Map out a strategy in manageable stages to achieve your exercise goals, making sure they are in line with the BCP Strategy.
- Use standard exercise planning methodology – Following your developed Roadmap and using proven methods can cut down on the trial-and-error stage of preparation and advance your BCP program overall.
- Always use primary and alternates in exercises – Practice makes perfect, or at least better! Endeavor to have the people who would participate in a disaster event perform recovery in the exercise. If they are not the subject matter experts you may want to review the designations.
- Enforce “SIBPLT” exercise methodology – Exercise applications incrementally from Standalone to Integrated to Business Process and Load Tested.
- Exercise throughout the year, if possible – Test recovery methodology as applications or technology changes or new applications are implemented.
- Resolve post exercise action items within 45 days – Timely resolution of issues yields better results as the exercise is still fresh in the minds of the participants.
- Strive to prove highest level of recoverability – Try to exceed the designated Recovery Time and Recovery Point Objectives. Test integration and data flow to the highest level your strategy allows.
- Request management attendance at exercises – Participation gives Management a sense of ownership which can lead to increased involvement and more effective support. In a disaster they will have a role and need to be aware of the recovery process, support and required communication.
Next week … Us, as Planners