Purpose

The intention of this document is to help with the formation and achievement of plan testing and maintenance activities.  Testing determines if documented recovery strategies and associated recovery procedures are feasible to recover critical business processes within their stated recovery time objectives (RTO).  Testing validates planning assumptions and it identifies the strengths and weaknesses in the plan.  Some other objectives of testing:

  1. Enables plan deficiencies to be identified and addressed
  2. Helps evaluate the ability of the recovery staff to implement the plan quickly and effectively
  3. Identifies incorrect, outdated or no longer valid contact names, vendor names, procedures, alternate locations, etc.

Most plans that are written are not maintained.  Within a year or less the plan becomes useless because staff has changed, vendors are different, and the resources required to get continue business operations have evolved.  By maintaining the plan on a regular basis, the business will avoid the time required to create a plan from scratch and it will be prepared whenever a disaster strikes.  Some objectives of maintenance:

  1. Constant “living” plan, meaning the data is accurate and up-to-date
  2. Create awareness to staff by having them update their personal information
  3. Avoid having to go through the entire Planning Process (BIA, RA, etc) because plans are so old and out of date that the information can’t be updated

So much time and effort go into developing recovery plans that if proper testing and maintenance isn’t completed, the plan is little of value or in some cases worse than no plan at all.  This document will introduce a variety of methods of testing and be maintaining your plans, procedures, and strategies.

Table of Content for Establishing Testing and Revision Practices Template

  1. INTRODUCTION
    1. Purpose
    2. Compliance
  2. TESTING PROCESS
    1. Establish Testing Process
    2. Determine Testing Requirements
    3. Types of Tests
    4. Test Objectives & Scope
    5. Test Measurement Criteria
    6. Develop Realistic Scenarios
    7. Create a Testing Schedule
    8. Prepare Test Plan
    9. Post-Test Reporting & Feedback
  3. TEST PARTICIPANT ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
    1. Test Controllers
    2. Test Project Manager
    3. Test Facilitator
    4. Test Observer (Evaluator)
    5. Test Recorder (Scribe)
    6. Test Participants
  4. MAINTENANCE OF PLANS
    1. Define Plan Owner and Maintenance Schedule
    2. Formulate Change Control Process
    3. Audit Objectives
    4. Responsibility
    5. Objectives of Auditing
    6. Audit Criteria
    7. Audit Evaluation
    8. Audit Schedule
  5. APPENDIX ITEMS 
    1. Appendix A – Business Unit Test Plan
    2. Appendix B – Technology Test Plan
    3. Appendix C – Example of Test Schedule
    4. Appendix D – Audit Checklist
    5. Appendix E – Audit Notification Memo
    6. Appendix F – Final Audit Report
    7. Appendix G – Test Notification Memo
    8. Appendix H – Types Of Tests

To view a specific section of this document, please contact us at Bob@supremusgroup.com or call us at (515) 865-4591.

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