Business Continuity Exercises
We recommend organisations adopt a graduated approach to exercising and build their crisis management capability through a programme of increasingly challenging and complex events:
- Walk-through / talk-through: typically of a contingency plan, department BCP or site emergency plan
- Desktop Exercise: scenario information and incident(s) are delivered to the team by an expert facilitator in the form of illustrated slides, news clips and hard copy documents … the purpose is to provide a team with a realistic scenario that is suitable for initial crisis management training or to rehearse real response to a specific threat scenario and test a plan
- Simulation Exercise: scenario information and incident(s) are delivered to members of the team(s) under training by telephone, email and face-to-face from an exercise control cell that simulates real external and internal agencies, departments and individuals
- Complex Exercise: a complex exercise would typically involve participation by multiple teams at different levels within the client’s crisis management structure (eg executive team (strategic) and crisis management team (tactical) plus some or all of the organisation’s department or site (operational) recovery teams) … the main benefits of this type of exercise are: information exchange between the teams is practiced and members and their deputies of all the teams involved are rehearsed during a single event which is highly cost effective and trains the maximum number of people at the same time
- Stakeholder Management Exercise: a scenario and exercise framework would be designed to practice a client in high level reputation protection with a heavy emphasis on stakeholder management including practical media operations eg filmed press interviews conducted by real journalists and a press conference to conclude the event on a high note … this type of event would include training by an expert media operations professional immediately preceding the exercise with the duration based on the client’s needs and preference
- Field Site Exercise: an event based on a client’s site that requires the operational management team to rehearse immediate and follow-on response to a high impact threat … this type of exercise is particularly suitable for a business critical site … examples are: a logistics warehouse or distribution hub; a mine or an oil or gas exploration / drilling site; a major storage depot with high risk of hazardous materials; or a key facility within the national critical infrastructure eg airport, seaport, fuel pipeline or telecommunications hub.