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Document and Maintain Your Disaster Recovery Plan

Put your DRP on a diet – keep it fit, trim, and ready for action.

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Your Challenge

  • 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.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • 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.

Research & Tools

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.

Guided Implementations

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.

Onsite Workshop

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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

The Purpose

Teach your team how to create visual-based documentation.

Key Benefits Achieved

Learn how to create visual-based DR documentation.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Conduct a table-top planning exercise.

1.2

Document your high-level incident response plan.

  • Documented high-level incident response plan
1.3

Identify documentation to include in your playbook.

  • List of documentation action items
1.4

Create an initial collection of supplementary documentation.

  • Collection of 1-3 draft checklists, flowcharts, topology diagrams, and contact lists
1.5

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
1.6

Summarize your DR capabilities for stakeholders.

  • DRP Summary Document

Module 2: Select the Optimal DRP Publishing Strategy

The Purpose

Learn the considerations for publishing your DRP.

Key Benefits Achieved

Identify the best strategy for publishing your DRP.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Select criteria for assessing DRP tools.

2.2

Evaluate categories for DRP tools.

  • Strategy for publishing DRP

Module 3: Learn How to Keep Your DRP Relevant Through Maintenance Best Practices

The Purpose

Address the common pain point of unmaintained DRPs.

Key Benefits Achieved

Create an approach for maintaining your DRP.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Alter your project intake considerations.

  • Project Intake Form Addendum Template
3.2

Integrate DR considerations into change management.

  • Change Management DRP Checklist Template
3.3

Integrate documentation into performance measurement and performance management.

3.4

Learn best practices for maintaining your DRP.

Member Testimonials

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After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Rotary International

Workshop

10/10

$1.32M

60

Dakota County Government Center

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

2

Minnesota State and Technical College

Guided Implementation

3/10

$2,117

5

Clearwater County Alberta

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

20

Southwest Care Center

Guided Implementation

10/10

$1.19M

105

Forsyth Technical Community College

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

50

Baldwin Wallace University

Guided Implementation

10/10

$27,135

90

Jupiter Resources Inc.

Guided Implementation

10/10

$47,500

47

Gateway Technical College

Guided Implementation

10/10

$66,183

50

Richter Management Ltd.

Workshop

8/10

N/A

20

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

Guided Implementation

8/10

$13,236

20

Southwest Care Center

Guided Implementation

9/10

$13,236

90

Lancaster General Hospital

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

N/A

Alliance Resource Partners

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

New Balance Athletics, Inc.

Guided Implementation

8/10

$13,236

20

Historic Royal Palaces

Guided Implementation

7/10

N/A

N/A

Pearl River Resort

Guided Implementation

10/10

$125K

100

Baltimore City, Department of Recreation & Parks

Guided Implementation

10/10

$66,183

120

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

Guided Implementation

8/10

$15,222

32

University Federal Credit Union

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

Historic Royal Palaces

Guided Implementation

9/10

$16,278

10

Southwest Care Center

Guided Implementation

10/10

$3,970

120

Forsyth Technical Community College

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

Agriculture Financial Services Corporation

Guided Implementation

10/10

$75,000

60

Amica Senior Lifestyles

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

35

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Guided Implementation

6/10

$10,000

5

Cianbro Corporation

Guided Implementation

9/10

$62,873

20

County of San Mateo

Guided Implementation

6/10

N/A

N/A

Witt Kieffer

Guided Implementation

6/10

$1,720

2

UCLA

Guided Implementation

8/10

$13,236

30