Continuity Central – Top tips for fantastic business continuity desktop exercises

Desktop exercises are instrumental in getting staff and others involved in business continuity, especially if they’re – dare I say it – interesting and fun for those taking part. To help in making your exercises successful, here are 19 top tips, listed in no particular order:

1. Plan your timeline backwards
If you know when your exercise is going to happen, start with the date of the proposed rehearsal, and slot in everything you need to do, working in reverse chronological order. It’s easier to schedule everything this way.

2. Remember your aims at all times
Define the aims of the exercise before you start. Is it to test a particular plan, raise general awareness, encourage engagement, or even to get the boss involved? Many exercises have a number of aims. Define the most important at the outset, so you can keep checking that what you’re doing is going to meet them.

3. Don’t insist there’s a plan to test
Think you need a plan before you can hold an exercise? I disagree. Sometimes a good way to start the process is to hold an exercise, especially if you’re trying to get engagement from a wider audience. This comes back to thinking about your aims – what are you trying to get done?

4. Choose the right creator
If you’re starting from scratch, this can be tricky. Ideally you’re looking for someone who’s very logical but also creative. The logic ensures the aims are met and the plan is considered during the creation phase. The best exercises are built with a creative bent, to help make them interesting and fun for the participants. This is more important than them understanding your business, if they know the right questions to ask.

More of the Continuity Central article from Charley Newnham

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.