In the previous blogs in this series on best practice in BC planning, I looked at identifying and mitigating the risks to your corporate environment, scenario planning, creating incident plans, supply chain resilience and crises communications that are fit for purpose. The next step in your BC planning should be to make sure that your response plans don't come unstuck in real life by practicing and testing them when the pressure is off.
The best laid plans can come to nothing if they have not been tested. The purpose of this is twofold. First of all, testing will help to ensure that the plan will work in practice. Secondly, testing will greatly increase the chances that the response team will know what they are doing when they are called into action.
There are two different types of test that can be carried out, a desktop/virtual exercise and a real/live exercise. A “desktop/virtual” exercise is a paper run through of your plans. This desktop exercise might simply be checking that all of your incident resources are in place, action plans are available, contact numbers are up to date and any physical supplies necessary are in place.