Last week, we discussed the importance of having a disaster recovery plan. Depending on the type of disaster your organization could potentially be faced with, developing a process for management and employees to follow in the event of a catastrophic event is vital to the success of continued business operations and productivity in the face of adversity your company could encounter.

There are a few basic components all disaster recovery plans should have, regardless of whether that be a major natural disaster or a security breach resulting in confidential information being compromised:

Develop a Strategy – While the plan itself will be comprised of a number of steps detailing how the organization, groups or departments, and individuals should respond to a disaster, the strategy is an initial evaluation of what your potential needs and pressing factors would be. This first assessment should include things like budget, what you need to ensure business operations are minimally halted, what resources you will need to assist in recovery (such as outside help from vendors, be that for physical labor or technical support), and what the roles of management and employees will be.

Outline Plan Steps – Create a checklist of goals and tasks that must be taken to get things back to working order. Prioritize those items, assign specific individuals or positions to each goal/task, then identify the specific, smaller tasks that each goal entails and work with the assignees to ensure that each employee knows what is expected of them.

Test the Plan – Particularly with regards to keeping business operations moving forward, testing is vital in determining any potential problems and provides your organization with the opportunity to fix those flaws before disaster strikes. While testing certainly takes time and can be a budgetary concern, figuring out a testing strategy that addresses those areas that are most important can save you resources and money in the long run.

Make sure that your recovery strategy and plan aligns with the goals of the organization and focus on resolutions that are mutually beneficial to all parties involved. Remember, the primary goal of any disaster recovery plan is to minimize and mitigate any potential negative effects a disaster can cause to your business. Most importantly, communicate your plan with your employees to ensure everyone is on board with the process and is cooperative with efforts to bounce back as quickly as possible.

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