Validating Business Continuity Plans Using Failure Point Exercise Methodology

 By Geary Sikich

Imagine that your plan has been implemented as it was designed. You and your organization carried out the plan following every detail that was contained in the planning documents. Your plan has failed. That is all you know. Your plan failed. Now your challenge and that of your planning team is to explain why they think that the plan failed. You must determine how much contrary evidence (information) was explained away based on the theory that the plan you developed will succeed if you implement the steps required to respond to a disruption of your business operations. The goal of this type of exercise is to break the emotional attachment to the plan’s success. When we create a plan we become emotionally attached to its success. By showing the likely sources of breakdown that will impede and/or negate the plan (failure), we utilize a methodology that allows us to conduct a validation of the plan by determining the potential failure points that are not readily apparent in typical exercise processes.

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