Testing the Disaster Recovery Plan
By the time that an organization has completed a DRP, it’s probably spent hundreds of man-hours and possibly tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars on consulting fees. You’d think that after making this big of an investment, any organization would want to test its DRP to make sure that it works when a real emergency strikes.
The following sections outline five methods available for testing the Disaster Recovery Plan.
A checklist test is a detailed review of DRP documents, performed by individuals working on their own. The purpose of a checklist test is to identify inaccuracies, errors, and omissions in DRP documentation.
It’s easy to coordinate this type of test, because each person who performs the test does it when his or her schedule permits (provided they complete it before any deadlines).
By itself, a document review is an insufficient way to test a DRP; however, it’s a logical starting place. Perform one or more of the other tests soon after you do the checklist test.
A structured walkthrough is a team approach to the checklist test. Here, several business and technology experts in the organization gather to “walk” through the BCP plan documents. A moderator or facilitator leads participants to discuss each step in BCP documents so that they can identify issues and opportunities for making documents more accurate and complete. Group discussions usually help to identify issues that people will not find ...