Business Continuity Awareness Week: Testing Business Continuity Plans

Photo courtesy of the BCI
Today kicks off the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Business Continuity Awareness Week. This year's theme is testing and exercising business continuity plans (BCPs), so in honor of #BCAW2015 we've put together a list of some of our top testing tips.

Conduct a Full-Scale Test Annually

One of the reasons business continuity plans fail is staff members simply take for granted the things they need to do their jobs. To truly make sure your BCP will work as planned, it's helpful to do a complete run-through of the plan at least annually to make sure you're not forgetting anything.

Test With Critical Vendors to Make Sure Both Parties Are on the Same Page

Testing with critical vendors helps make sure you each have the proper expectations of how a recovery event will unfold. You should have requirements outlined in a service level agreement, but it's important to test them.

Involve Employees and Ask for Feedback

When testing, make sure all the people who would be involved in a recovery — whether they're new or experienced employees — participate in the test. Afterward, ask them for feedback to identify any unclear or inefficient areas in your strategy.

Learn From Your Peers

Interface with other companies in your industry to see what they've learned from their tests. Not only will you learn what BC strategies were successful for them, but you'll also learn from their mistakes.

Publicize Your Test Efforts

The purpose of testing is to identify areas of improvement in your BC strategy, of course, but it's also an opportunity for positive publicity. By publicizing your test efforts, you're letting your customers know that you're dedicated to being available to them in the event of a business interruption.

What are your testing tips? Tweet them to us at @RentsysRecovery and use the hashtag #BCAW2015.

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