We’re often asked for a list of scenarios that might be used for business continuity exercises and rehearsals.
We’re going to oblige below, BUT we’d like to explain why we think that it’s literally the last thing you should think about when planning a rehearsal.
A rehearsal is not about the scenario. As a continuity planner you probably know this already. Yet we all worry about finding the ‘perfect’ scenario to challenge our plans and out delegates in a robust manner. We often feel we’re only as good as our last business continuity exercise, since these are often our ‘public face’ to our organisations.
However a well trained continuity planner (or someone who’s done our free course) will tell you clearly that the scenario always comes last. Before you know what your scenario might be, you need to know:
- Which plan(s) is being tested?
- Who is participating in the exercise?
- What are the weak points of the plan?
- What risks are highlighted for the plan(s) in question?
- When was the last time this plan was rehearsed?
- When was the last time these people were rehearsed?
- How exposed do you want the delegates to feel?
- How are you going to capture learning?
- How will you ensure the delegates are open to learning and taking responsibility for actions identified during the rehearsal?
- What facilities do you have in the room?
- How long can you reasonably book the delegates for?
- How many times do you need to rehearse this plan per year?
- Power failure
- Road closure
- Water outage
- Gas leak
- Bomb alert
- Structural damage
- Area evacuation
- Contagious illness
- Transport outage
- Building closure (see ‘lack of access’ column)
- Using recovery location
- Power outage
- Gas outage
- Water outage
- IT network outage
- Loss of IT files
- Technology connection outage
- Loss of data
- System application outage
- Telecoms outage
- Anything in any other list!
- Threats – e.g. bomb, cyber attack, blackmail, data theft or loss.
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