Business Continuity Exercise Checklist
What should you include when preparing a Business Continuity Exercise Checklist?
You need to outline which plans are being tested and the learning outcomes you are trying to achieve. If you clearly define your objective before the exercise it will be easier to measure how successful the exercise was, once it has been completed.
Exercise Planning Group
It is important to create an Exercise Planning Group and work together to plan your exercise. This group should include representatives from the different plans that are being tested. They will bring different ideas and perspectives to the scenario which will add value to your exercise.
Don’t get too worried about creating a super-complicated scenario. It is much better to keep the scenario simple and realistic. Take a look at your organizational Risk Register for inspiration. What are the biggest risks facing your organization? Use one of those risks and build an interesting scenario around it. Something that will keep your participants engaged, and that they can learn from.
An inject is a curve-ball you can throw into an exercise that is running too smoothly. If your participants aren’t engaged and feel that the scenario is “too easy” then a well-timed inject can shake things up.
You should hold a Hot Debrief immediately after the exercise. This is the moment when everybody is excited and feeling passionate about the discoveries they have made. You need to capture this enthusiasm and the unique ideas the scenario has brought out.
If you don’t hold a hot debrief straight after the exercise, as soon as people leave the exercise room and get caught up in their day-to-day jobs, these insights will be lost.
It’s always nice to include photographs at the end of the report, showing everybody working together to problem solve this tricky scenario.
Recommendations and Action Plan
This is the most important element of your exercise. Your participants have highlighted gaps and opportunities for improvement. These actions need to be recorded, tracked and implemented.
If you want to increase your Organizational Resilience, start with preparing a Business Continuity Plan and check out BCP Builder’s Business Continuity Planning Templates.