5 Biggest Failures of Your Disaster Recovery Plan

June 24, 2016
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Disasters are, by their nature, unpredictable – as are all the possible outcomes that result from them. Time is of the essence in disaster response, and a road map to recovery is essential. You will spend a lot of time drafting a thorough Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP), but you’ll still miss important items. Here are 5 of the biggest failures we’ve seen in DRP’s.

  1. You don’t involve your team in the planning.

    You account for all the functions you can think of, and assign your staff specific roles in the recovery effort, but what if they’re not there because a storm wiped out the road? What if they didn’t realize they had an established role in the recovery? It is crucial to involve your key staff members in the planning. Then, involve them in the testing too. And just like you would with your data, HAVE A BACKUP! For every assigned role, have a second in line in case the first is unavailable.

  2. You don’t have enough details in the DRP.

    You don’t need just high-level directions, you need specifics. Your staff is human, and in high-stress situations, response time can be greatly affected. People need to be given instructions on their actions, not just suggestions. Don’t just instruct them to switch to your back-up data… specifically tell them how.

  3. You have too many details in the DRP.

    I know, I know. You think I’m asking too much now. But too much detail can be crushing. You need to have clear, concise & simple instructions that tell your staff how to do it without burying them in information. They need to be familiar with the steps to do the task at hand, but the plan needs to give them guidance. Use simplified visuals where possible but don’t make them have to look to a reference section every time a new action is required.

  4. You don’t test and adjust.

    You spend a lot of time and energy crafting a thorough plan because you know it’s the right thing to do for your business. Then you close the cover and put it on a shelf so that you can reach for it when disaster strikes? No! Test it. Run simulation exercises. Don’t just review it once a year, aim for at least 2-3 times annually. Involve all the staff in the test as well because they are the leaders of your recovery effort. You need to make sure all of your plans still apply if there have been changes to your business, including staffing changes.

  5. You failed to prioritize.

    You have a thorough plan, but no main list of priorities. Everyone who has a job to do in the DRP wants to hit the ground running, but not all items in the DRP are as crucial as others. Create a simple priority list, or maybe even a few – one for each category of disaster you might encounter (ex. natural, man-made, malware, etc.). You don’t want everyone running around like chickens with their heads cut off. You want an organized effort where the most vital systems are addressed first.

Disaster Recovery Plans are vital to your business continuity. 40% of businesses that suffer data loss as a result of a disaster will not reopen. That’s a crushing number. Don’t let your company be part of that percentage. Contact the Disaster Recovery Experts at Corporate Technologies Group today.