- Disaster recovery plan (DRP) documentation is often driven by audit or compliance requirements rather than aimed at the team that would need to execute recovery.
- Between day-to-day IT projects and the difficulty of maintaining 300+ page manuals, DRP documentation is not updated and quickly becomes unreliable.
- Inefficient publishing strategies result in your DRP not being accessible during disaster or key staff not knowing where to find the latest version.
- DR documentation fails when organizations try to boil the ocean with an all-in-one plan aimed at auditors, business leaders, and IT. It’s too long, too hard to maintain, and ends up being little more than shelf-ware.
- Using flowcharts, checklists, and diagrams aimed at an IT audience is more concise and effective in a disaster, quicker to create, and easier to maintain.
- Create your DRP in layers to keep the work manageable. Start with a recovery workflow to ensure a coordinated response, and build out supporting documentation over time.
Impact and Result
- Create visual and concise DR documentation that strips out unnecessary content and is written for an IT audience – the team that would actually be executing the recovery. Your business leaders can take the same approach to create separate business response plans. Don’t mix the two in an all-in-one plan that is not effective for either audience.
- Determine a documentation distribution strategy that supports ease of maintenance and accessibility during a disaster.
- Incorporate DRP maintenance into change management procedures to systematically update and refine the DR documentation. Don’t save up changes for a year-end blitz, which turns document maintenance into an onerous project.
Start here – read the Executive Brief
Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should adopt a visual-based DRP, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.
1. Streamline DRP documentation
Start by documenting your recovery workflow. Create supporting documentation in the form of checklists, flowcharts, topology diagrams, and contact lists. Finally, summarize your DR capabilities in a DRP Summary Document for stakeholders and auditors.
2. Select the optimal DRP publishing strategy
Select criteria for assessing DRP tools, and evaluate whether a business continuity management tool, document management solution, wiki site, or manually distributing documentation is best for your DR team.
3. Keep your DRP relevant through maintenance best practices
Learn how to integrate DRP maintenance into core IT processes, and learn what to look for during testing and during annual reviews of your DRP.
4. Appendix: XMPL Case Study
Model your DRP after the XMPL case study disaster recovery plan documentation.
This guided implementation is a ten call advisory process.
Guided Implementation #1 - Streamline DRP documentation
Call #1 - Review Info-Tech’s approach to DRP documentation.
Call #2 - Create a high-level recovery workflow.
Call #3 - Create supporting DRP documentation.
Call #4 - Write the DRP summary.
Guided Implementation #2 - Select the optimal DRP publishing strategy
Call #1 - Identify criteria for selecting a DRP publishing strategy.
Call #2 - Select a DRP publishing strategy.
Call #3 - Optional: Select requirements for a BCM tool and issue an RFP.
Call #4 - Optional: Review responses to RFP.
Guided Implementation #3 - Keep your DRP relevant through maintenance best practices
Call #1 - Learn best practices for integrating DRP maintenance into day-to-day IT processes.
Call #2 - Learn best practices for DRP-focused reviews.
Book Your Workshop
Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.
Module 1: Streamline DRP Documentation
Teach your team how to create visual-based documentation.
Key Benefits Achieved
Learn how to create visual-based DR documentation.
Conduct a table-top planning exercise.
Document your high-level incident response plan.
- Documented high-level incident response plan
Identify documentation to include in your playbook.
- List of documentation action items
Create an initial collection of supplementary documentation.
- Collection of 1-3 draft checklists, flowcharts, topology diagrams, and contact lists
Discuss what further documentation is necessary for recovering from a disaster.
- Action items for ensuring that the DRP is executable for both primary and backup DR personnel
Summarize your DR capabilities for stakeholders.
- DRP Summary Document
Module 2: Select the Optimal DRP Publishing Strategy
Learn the considerations for publishing your DRP.
Key Benefits Achieved
Identify the best strategy for publishing your DRP.
Select criteria for assessing DRP tools.
Evaluate categories for DRP tools.
- Strategy for publishing DRP
Module 3: Learn How to Keep Your DRP Relevant Through Maintenance Best Practices
Address the common pain point of unmaintained DRPs.
Key Benefits Achieved
Create an approach for maintaining your DRP.
Alter your project intake considerations.
- Project Intake Form Addendum Template
Integrate DR considerations into change management.
- Change Management DRP Checklist Template
Integrate documentation into performance measurement and performance management.
Learn best practices for maintaining your DRP.