A Team Approach to DISASTER RECOVERY PLANNING
Effective disaster recovery programs depend on the people involved. The resulting plans and procedures are born out of cooperation and collaboration, combining requirements, strategies and steps to form a cohesive program for employee safety and business continuity. To create a full-fledged program for disaster recovery, the right resources must be pulled together, at the right time, and for the right purpose.
As a process, structured disaster recovery planning flows through a series of phases designed to facilitate requirements definition, response planning, and when necessary, related action. DRP team structure should be designed to mirror phase structure and workflow, ensuring that all essential planning bases are covered:
1. It takes a team to identify disaster recovery requirements.
2. It takes a team to create and manage a disaster recovery plan.
3. It takes a team to take action.
As can be expected, specific skill requirements will vary according to specific phases of the disaster recovery planning process (requirements, planning and implementation). In order to maintain a continual process flow, appropriate resources must be identified, allocated and assigned accordingly. Considering this results driven organizational approach, each team "unit" must be structured to suit phase goals, skills, roles and responsibilities.
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Steps - PUTTING THE TEAM TOGETHER
The exact composition of any DRP team will vary according to business size and disaster plan complexity. As such, the following issues must be considered as team organization is underway:
1. Who will lead the DRP team?
2. How will team members be identified and selected?
3. Does your organization have the skills needed to get the job done?
4. How many people will be involved in the DRP process (per phase)?
5. Will external resources be required (i.e. DRP consultants)?
6. How will all the required resources be organized for optimum productivity?
7. Are all DRP resources located at a single site, or at multiple locations?
8. How will effective team communication be maintained?
Size aside, every DRP team should be organized according to the following defining principles:
1. Communication and cooperation are the keys to success.
2. Team resources should be well-informed and well aware of all DRP goals and objectives. Any significant disaster event will impact a business as a "whole", and as such, all sides of the business entity must be represented in the DRP team. This is essential to ensure that the actual Disaster Recovery Plan covers all the angles (technical, financial, operational and administrative).