Posted by Matt Edgley on 10-Mar-2017 10:10:12

How to test a workplace recovery service

Interior of an office in a printing company.jpeg

It doesn’t matter if you have the most comprehensive business continuity plan in the world – if you don’t test it, it’s worthless.

A test will help you prove that, should a crisis ever occur, your business continuity plan will actually work in reality. However, it’s not surprising that many businesses overlook this or never get around to doing it – it can be expensive, resource-intensive and require a great deal of planning in its own right.

This is especially true when there’s a workplace recovery aspect to your plan, and it’s necessary to move your workforce to another location as part of the test.

However, testing a workplace recovery service doesn’t have to be difficult – as long as your provider makes it easy for you.

What is the test for?

The purpose of a workplace recovery test is to identify bottlenecks and missing links in your workplace recovery plan. It’ll help you uncover things like:

  • Whether key personnel are able to execute the plan and manage staff effectively
  • Whether individuals understand their roles and responsibilities in the plan
  • How long the entire process takes, from initiation to getting set up in the new area
  • Any weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the plan


(Recommended reading: Workplace recovery checklist)

The chance that your plan is perfect from the outset is highly unlikely and, without testing, these defects may go undetected until it’s too late – possibly even during a disaster. A series of carefully executed tests will allow you to foresee these vulnerabilities and build a plan that actually works when you need it.

The process

The exact process will differ according the organisation, the nature and severity of the risks they face, their overall business continuity plan, and how their workplace recovery provider operates. However, the test should always reflect a real-life scenario as far as possible, and account for the twists and turns organisations could easily face in reality.

Here at TeleData, our tests are always scheduled in advance. There is usually a pre-test to ensure that the network and connectivity is working as it should be and the simulation test itself is used to evaluate staff readiness and management.

Cost

The cost of executing a test like this is big consideration for most businesses. In some cases, it can even be a deterrent. However, many workplace recovery providers will include the cost of the test within their overall fee – an easy way to identify those that truly care about making your business continuity plan a success versus those who see it as more of a box-ticking exercise.

Testing is just one aspect of your workplace recovery plan (albeit a very important one). To build a best-in-breed business continuity plan, or check that your workplace recovery provider will actually carry you through a disaster, download our workplace recovery checklist.

FREE download: Workplace recovery checklist >

Free download: Workplace recovery checklist

Topics: workplace recovery, business continuity, disaster recovery

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