A good general guide is to test when these systems change—for example, the lead tester leaves the company or new IT systems have been put in place.
The timing could be monthly or annually depending on how frequently your company changes.
Testing can be expensive and time consuming, but by making time to test your DRP you can validate your recovery plan.
It also helps to uncover any issues with the plan, as well as procedures that need changing to avoid these issues in the future.
For help setting up a DRP, you can also speak with IT consultants to ensure your plan is watertight and you haven’t overlooked any important aspects. Bowker, CBCP, ITIL-F, is a Lead Senior Consultant at Sungard Availability Services.
The final information to record is the impact the test has on the business: how did the downtime affect overall operations, customers and revenue? Plan Review The plan review is the most basic DRP test; it involves the continuity-management and disaster-recovery planners going over existing processes and identifying areas for improvement or potential changes.
This part can be carried out regularly without too much of a drain on resources and should be part of your business schedule a few times a year. Tabletop Exercise Tabletop exercise is a good to test whether everyone involved is fully aware of the DRP and the procedures they must follow in the event of a disaster. All personnel must gather and carry out a “walk-through” of a disaster scenario, with a given objective to focus on.
Some companies opt to keep the test secret from employees to fully gauge how they react when disaster strikes.
For these tests, you will need to use company resources such as recovery sites and backup systems, and in some cases allow personnel to leave the site to implement backup systems and restart the business technology.
As a result, you will likely need to spend both time and money carrying one out.