10 ways to improve Business Continuity Plan Exercise, Audit, and Maintenance – tip 7 research injects

Your organization has now invested valuable time and money developing business continuity plans. As a professional business continuity planner, you know that the next steps – exercising, auditing and maintaining the business continuity plans – are all important to successful resilience in the event of a disaster. In this article, I will provide 10 tips to advance your business continuity plan exercise, audit and maintenance program.

Tip # 7 Prepare well researched problem sets or injects

Create injects (a set of problems or complications) that the team may encounter as the scenario plays out. They can be used to create realism or to guarantee certain areas of the plan are tested. If the team seems well prepared to handle the initial complexity of the scenario, injects can create a more challenging exercise. They can also be used to bring the exercise back on track if it seems to be slipping. Have a few extra up your sleeve and use as necessary.

There is no substitute for thorough research prior to the event. Reference material may be required wherever you introduce any aspect of a scenario that may be challenged. If the scenario includes responding to damage caused by a letter bomb, you must be prepared with an authoritative response to any number of questions, including how the bomb was prepared and delivered and the extent of the damage it would have caused. Without an appropriate response, you will lose the attention and support of participants. A good exercise script will also require thorough research on the language and terminology to be used in any given scenario.

You may need to develop checklists, along with reference materials, to support the script. Checklists are a convenient way of collecting data in order to avoid relying on memory alone to cover each detail of the exercise.

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice Eight – Business Continuity Plan Exercise, Audit, and Maintenance DRII Professional Practices June 1, 2012 Version 1)

‘When planning for war, I have always found plans to be useless, but planning to be invaluable.’ General Eisenhower

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