Getting the best from your test
A question that’s sometimes asked by management is “why does it take several weeks to plan for a recovery test (or exercise, or rehearsal, or whatever you prefer to call it) when we wouldn’t get that much notice of a real disaster?”
The answer is twofold. Firstly “risk management” – i.e. ensuring that the test doesn’t impact negatively on the business. Whilst it would probably make life easier if we could just switch off the business for the duration of the test, in the real world this isn’t usually possible. And we really don’t want our test to be the cause of our disaster!
Secondly, we want to get the most from a finite amount of testing time and, more often than not, from the limited resources at our disposal. So we need to put a bit of effort into our planning.
To get the best from your test, you need to prepare for it properly. So give some serious thought, in advance, to such things as pre-test planning, risk management, test co-ordination, monitoring, reporting and follow-up activities.
Or, alternatively, you could just turn up on the day and see how successful that is.