Out of order?
Tradition has it that incident management and/or business recovery exercising is usually done once the business continuity plan is in place. After all, how can we test the plan before it’s written? Which is a fair enough question. It is, however, a bit of a narrow-minded one.
The incident management or business recovery exercise shouldn’t just be seen as a means of testing the plan. It should also be seen as a means of developing the incident management or business recovery capability. In addition, it can be a great way of engaging key people and engendering support for the business continuity management programme. “Testing the plan” can almost be seen as a spin-off benefit, rather than the main event.
So why not turn tradition on its head? This may seem a bit radical to some dyed-in-the-wool BCM-ers, but why not kick off the business continuity management project with an exercise? This can be a great way of putting the business continuity plan into context, highlighting its importance, raising awareness, exercising key players and identifying issues and actions for the business continuity management programme. And if that’s not enough, it also starts to develop the incident management team’s capability early on in the process, which means you’ll already be more prepared.
So why not give it a go? You’ve probably got very little to lose and an awful lot to gain.