Well now we’re rolling here. You’ve spent the time figuring out what a disaster is for you and your company, what parts of your company will be affected and how and by which events, and you’ve now planned out and analyzed the information and come up with solutions and costs and plans to implement. But when do we actually implement the plan?
Well, how can you implement without the formalization of the plan to begin with? That’s what we get to do in Phase 4 – test the waters befoer the big money and big changes and implementations begin.
There are several ways to document the ‘what to do if…’ items in this plan. Also keep in mind, this plan should have many sections, not just ‘if the roof leaks over the accounting department, call Joe for trash bags and the roofer for repair’ (hopefully your plan is much better than this crude example) There should be sections for:
- Primary contacts of all departments, vendors, emergency numbers, outsourced and contracted support, and more.
- Listings of each business operational unit, the items they need to operate, where they are located, keys/passwords and whatever other information may be needed to access or be taken to a safe place.
- All of the Phase 2 interdependency’s, so if something does happen, your disaster coordinator knows who to contact, in what order, and when.
This is a relatively small example. There could be 20 or 30 or more sections within the 3 major categories above. You can make notebooks, cd/dvd media, online versions, etc. The most important thing is to make sure all bases are covered and documented. Some examples of documentation are as follows:
- Make a notebook for each department, outlining everything they need to know for each and every continuity item that could affect them
- Make a notebook for each event with sections for each department and what needs to happen
- Make a notebook for all departments and events, so there will be no doubt as to what to do in case of an event.
Once you have made these draft plans, you can realistically get started with rolling out and implementing your solutions. This seems like a lot of work to do before you actually start implementing, and technically your company is at risk every minute and day you postpone putting controls in place. Just remember, if it’s done wrong then all of the effort would be wasted. You can always begin certain implementations, for example: If you know your technology solutions are solid and ready, then get those underway. You can change or draft that part of the plan during implementation.
Its up to you how and when you implement – but sooner rather than later for the most effective and time consuming solutions is best practice.
Next – Phase 5 – practice what you preach! Stay tuned…