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Testing and exercising business continuity plans

Testing and exercising business continuity plans

Blog posts   •   Mar 19, 2015 09:50 GMT

A crisis, if not fatal, represents an opportunity to look at a situation with new eyes and perspective, a chance for improvement and change, lessons to be learned next time. A crisis implies a crucial point which calls for an action, to decide how to react and what to do, to force us to look outside the box and actively seek opportunities. It is better to do this before a crisis.

Defining a resiliency strategy early to ensure complete business protection

Defining a resiliency strategy early to ensure complete business protection

Blog posts   •   Mar 18, 2015 15:30 GMT

We are quickly coming to terms with the cloud evolution, realizing that the sense of urgency required to transform existing IT capabilities by leveraging new technologies that exploit automation is key to the overall success of the business. Providing uninterruptible service to the marketplace has not only become our number one priority, but is essential to staying in business.

Exercising builds organisational resilience

Exercising builds organisational resilience

Blog posts   •   Mar 17, 2015 10:00 GMT

Business continuity (BC), as a key discipline within the resilience framework, must articulate this message. Exercising BC plans, viewed from this strategic lens, is an opportunity to gauge resilience. It is fitting therefore that this year’s ​​Business Continuity Awareness Week focuses on the role of exercises in building organisational resilience.

​Why testing and exercising are essential for an effective business continuity programme

​Why testing and exercising are essential for an effective business continuity programme

Blog posts   •   Mar 17, 2015 10:00 GMT

It’s a ‘no brainer’! Any type of plan that has not recently been tested and updated is not worth the paper it’s written on. We spend hours building and maintaining our BCM programmes, keeping the plan up to date and relevant, claiming that we are ‘ready’ to respond and ‘capable’ of coping with the impact of expected and unexpected disruptions.

Why is a 'near miss' always more successful than an exercise in focusing the mind?

Why is a 'near miss' always more successful than an exercise in focusing the mind?

Blog posts   •   Mar 17, 2015 10:00 GMT

Recently I had occasion to be flying into Frankfurt with a well-known airline, the equipment as they say in aircraft parlance seemed very knew, which was a comfort somehow. Gently we approached and the flight attendants were instructed to take their landing positions and dutifully buckled up. I could see the ground approaching and I had heard the landing gear come down.

Engaging stakeholders meaningfully for exercise planning

Engaging stakeholders meaningfully for exercise planning

Blog posts   •   Mar 16, 2015 14:45 GMT

When we arrive at the planning phase for a test or an exercise, you'll find that the only people who will be involved tend to be limited to some Managers from those critical business units along with their outsourced vendor representatives.

Can you test a business continuity plan?

Can you test a business continuity plan?

Blog posts   •   Mar 13, 2015 12:08 GMT

I am not a grumpy old man but for this article I intend to be! Business Continuity Awareness Week is next week and the enthusiasm is whipping into frenzy. The topic 'exercising' is the most inspiring and enthusiastically supported area of the BC programme. Hence I think a couple of us are getting a bit over excited and forgetting our theory.

Exercising your business continuity plan

Exercising your business continuity plan

Blog posts   •   Mar 12, 2015 14:10 GMT

Businesses are exposed to disasters all the time, including IT system failures, power outages, or even natural disasters. These causes will cripple your business unless you have a business continuity plan (BCP) ready. A good BCP allows your business to continue on running everyday operations seamlessly.

The benefits of exercise: Why we should be exercising our risks

The benefits of exercise: Why we should be exercising our risks

Blog posts   •   Mar 11, 2015 16:31 GMT

There is plenty of guidance around for identifying and recording risks and lots of good ideas for monitoring and review but surely what ultimately counts is how aware we are of the risks we face as a business as a whole and how effective our mitigation strategies and response capabilities are.

Do we really learn from exercising? How not to plan

Do we really learn from exercising? How not to plan

Blog posts   •   Mar 10, 2015 10:32 GMT

We need to have an exercise to test our multi-agency response to a rising tide incident. That was the direction from a group of senior managers. I am selected to represent our organisation at the multi-agency exercise planning group.

The importance of preparation for unplanned events

The importance of preparation for unplanned events

Blog posts   •   Mar 09, 2015 15:14 GMT

As certified professionals or managerial agents, we recognize the importance of preparation for unplanned events with resiliency action-ready procedures, system recoverability, and eventually testing/exercising those plans. However, to complete an exercise, it take a team of dedicated resources and management sponsorship; and sometimes this is not always achievable under various circumstances.

You don’t exercise a scenario

You don’t exercise a scenario

Blog posts   •   Mar 06, 2015 13:28 GMT

Poor exercises do more harm than good. They will lead the participants to disengage with the process of both planning and building capability. Badly facilitated exercises lose the focus on what is important to any organisation – building capability through the people and team(s) involved.

Don't live in the stone age, exercise your business continuity plan

Don't live in the stone age, exercise your business continuity plan

Blog posts   •   Mar 05, 2015 13:56 GMT

I would like to think that Senior Management throughout the land do not accept that the plans they have are fit for purpose until they have been fully exercised with everyone involved. A tough task I know but it still beats living in the Stone Age for 7 weeks.

Disaster recovery testing for SMEs: What you need to know

Disaster recovery testing for SMEs: What you need to know

Blog posts   •   Mar 02, 2015 12:38 GMT

​Testing is the biggest concern we hear around business continuity, and particularly IT disaster recovery. Lack of time is the most common reason given for the lack of DR testing in the UK. In fact, well over a third of the 400 IT professionals in our 2014 ​Data Health Check listed lack of time as the main reason they hadn’t tested their DR system in the last 12 months.

​Failing your compliance audits and don't know why?

​Failing your compliance audits and don't know why?

Blog posts   •   Feb 24, 2015 14:53 GMT

In business, a dress rehearsal is the equivalent of a full disaster recovery exercise for a compliance audit. And just as actors don’t have scripts during a dress rehearsal, people should not need to refer to that 500-page binder called your business continuity plan during this exercise. In this exercise, everything had better go according to plan.

​Do you have a disaster recovery solution that’s 80% successful? How to improve your odds

​Do you have a disaster recovery solution that’s 80% successful? How to improve your odds

Blog posts   •   Feb 23, 2015 14:33 GMT

The success rates of IT recovery following a disaster are not where they should be. For 96% of us, we have to face the truth that we stand a 1 in 5 chance that when we really need our disaster recovery solution to work, it won’t. The good news is that there’s a simple solution to this big problem, yet so few of us are doing it properly.

Business Continuity - It’s just like changing a wheel

Business Continuity - It’s just like changing a wheel

Blog posts   •   Feb 19, 2015 12:50 GMT

I have helped countless organisations with their metaphorical flat tyres over the years and what I have found is that planning ahead, practicing a response to common problems and having experts to call for assistance in a crisis situation invariably gets you to your destination far quicker!

A challenging exercise in crisis

A challenging exercise in crisis

Blog posts   •   Feb 18, 2015 12:03 GMT

​Everybody knows the age-old saying “practice makes perfect”. The idea being that you can become progressively better at something the more times you do it. This certainly is the case with Business Continuity. If we anticipate an issue or problem before it occurs and we practice how to fix it in advance of it happening then we can reduce the overall impact.

​If you have not tested your Disaster Recovery Plan, you are not ready to manage through a disaster

​If you have not tested your Disaster Recovery Plan, you are not ready to manage through a disaster

Blog posts   •   Feb 13, 2015 10:00 GMT

Many organizations have built elaborate, technical, and process-centric plans to help them mitigate risk and manage through a crisis. Often there are hundreds or thousands of hours invested in these plans. But if the plan has never been tested, or if key individuals aren’t familiar with the details, there is a strong likelihood that the plan won’t work the way it was intended.

Choosing an appropriate scenario for your business continuity plan exercises

Choosing an appropriate scenario for your business continuity plan exercises

Blog posts   •   Feb 12, 2015 12:30 GMT

​The choice of business continuity exercise scenario is an important factor in its success, but how do you go about deciding what you should focus on?