The Five Levels of BCP Exercising

There are many types of plan exercises. Different exercises serve different purposes and should match the plan and experience of the teams. Each of the following five exercises builds on the results of the previous exercises:

Plan walk-through: A walk-through of a plan is an excellent way of explaining its format and content. A plan walk-through is a low-pressure exercise that uses presentation techniques including videos, slides and handouts, so that participants fully understand their plans.

Facilitated discussion: Facilitated discussions can be delivered in a number if ways, but usually begin with the presentation of a hypothetical scenario. Potential issues and problems are then extracted from the scenario and given to the participants to solve using brainstorming and group discussion.

Single-team simulation: This simple form of simulation brings participants together in order to examine both the plan and how the team works together under limited pressure. The team will be expected to manage a fictional incident, manage information flows, make decisions, log activities, handle dilemmas and work together as an effective team.

Multi-team simulation: The multi-team simulation extends the single-team version by providing the added dynamic of team interaction. The focus is on coordination, communication and control. Such exercises often highlight elements of the overall plan that have either not been assigned or have been given to more than one team.

Full-scale exercise: Full-scale exercises involve all teams. They should not be considered until other forms of exercises have been conducted and all teams have a high degree of experience, competence and confidence.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business continuity consulting for today’s leading companies.

Follow Us

© 2024 · MHA Consulting. All Rights Reserved.

Learn from the Best

Get insights from almost 30 years of BCM experience straight to your inbox.

We won’t spam or give your email away.

  • Who We Are
  • What We Do
  • Blog