Most of us give very little thought to major disruptions stopping us from getting on with our job. We turn up, we clock on, we do it, we go home. However, what would happen if a catastrophic event occurred and we were stopped from either accessing our work premises or the tools we take for granted to do our job? How would we cope? What would be do? How would and could the business carry on?
Sensible contingency business planning means companies have to look at a Plan B if Plan A fails and we recently carried out a war gaming exercise for a local IT department. The aim was to present several scenarios to test how the department would react to the situations, without it actually having to happen.
Each company’s potential weak points are different, so we worked with this business’s IT management to completely understand their IT systems, as well as the roles their staff play within those systems. We were then able to plan out of a full day of war gaming to test them and their systems through four distinct themes:
Morning from Hell
Panama Papers, NHS, British Airways – who is next?
Should we get Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)?
Inside these themes were several different scenarios that would test each member of the department, as well as the need to involve escalation to other business departments such as PR, Facilities, HR and external parties such as the police and The Office of The Data Protection Commissioner.
The day was a huge success but just as importantly it was a massive learning curve for all involved. Lots of action points came out of it and the staff are much more aware and prepared for what could happen. They now know how to react, were a variety of situations to occur.
The day also highlighted the strength and importance of teamwork and clear leadership. It gave all of us involved the big picture overview and reaffirmed our own experience that events that happen in the IT department will affect the whole business.
Remember; if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Who wants that?