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Methods of Communication/Awareness
A disaster recovery plan has to be properly managed, including responsibilities’ assignment, schedule implementation, documentation, and the development of appropriate awareness campaigns (Erbschloe, 2003). All employees should be highly aware of the plan and trained to know the details that may influence the quality of disaster response. Awareness and training of employees cannot be neglected in a disaster response team because the more employees know, the better they understand what can be done next or how to avoid complications. Stakeholders are investors, employees, and their families who may face risks when a disaster occurs (Erbschloe, 2003).
If I were a part of the disaster recovery planning team of an organization, the process of building awareness among employees and external stakeholders would be based on such steps as creating motivational posters to underline the role of each team member, writing employee newsletters to provide all stakeholders with clear instructions, and making e-mail announcement lists to make sure that all stakeholders are involved and aware. Corporate web portals may be used to promote communication between all team members. These methods of communication should improve people’s understanding of a disaster recovery plan, its mission statement, and implementation and introduce a basic description of all important steps.
Frequency of Testing
Testing and rehearsing are the two important parts of a disaster recovery plan with the help of which it is possible to run a live disaster simulation. Many employees and their leaders believe that these steps have a lot of organizational and personal benefits. Still, there is no clear answer concerning the frequency of testing disaster recovery plans because this process depends on the availability of the resources, employees’ intentions, and leadership (Whitman, Mattord, & Green, 2014). Some people believe that it is enough to test plans once per month or once per year, but the statistics show that quarterly testing is the most widely chosen option (Teplow, 2017).
Frequent testing may decrease the level of trust in a system, and no rehearsals may question plans’ importance. Therefore, quarterly checks provide a solid backup plan for a company. Such frequency is effective because it reminds about the worth of each person involved in a disaster recovery plan and determines the objectives that cannot be forgotten. Finally, there are many special circumstances when disaster recovery plans are important, and people should remember about them to be ready for them. For example, earthquakes or wildfires can influence the work of organizations. A quarterly frequency of testing and rehearsals is effective due to the possibility to consider the latest weather changes and involve new people in a process.
Impact of New and Changing Technologies
The evolution of new technologies and marketing/feedback cycles cannot be neglected in a disaster recovery process because of several important reasons. First, new technologies lead to considerable improvements in services. They may help to entail risks and introduce new decisions on how to use different sources. For example, the feedback cycle can be improved to enhance a product’s competitive position, improve its functionality, and change cost-effectiveness (Erbschloe, 2003). If employees are not ready for some new changes, it is possible to create an image of improvement and change the intentions of competitors. However, not all new technologies may be relevant and appropriate for a company. Employees have to evaluate their personal skills, organizational background, and readiness to work with new technologies.
Disaster recovery planners and developers have to evaluate possible threats and new business conditions to promote updates and effective communication regarding recent structural or hierarchical changes. For example, there is a small company of auditors who aim at cooperating with local organizations and dealing with their financial procedures and improvements that may be appropriate or unwanted at the moment. There are ten regular and five temporary employees. A communication plan of this company is based on effective communication between all stakeholders, and any structural or hierarchical change may influence disaster responses in different ways. Therefore, it is necessary to update communication plans all the time and consider such points of the checklist as:
- Contact information about all current employees and stakeholders;
- List of jobs and functions of every worker;
- Priority list of restoration of functions;
- Distribution of all new information via e-mail online and in a written form.
Updating of a communication implant is required to be confident that all employees have the information about the latest changes and improvements and know what they should do in case of a disaster or other unpredictable event.
Communication during a Contingency
Communication during a contingency is an important policy requirement in many organizations. It can help to protect a company and prepare employees for the worst things that may happen. As a rule, contingency is characterized by increased complexity, and not all companies really comprehend what they should do, and what steps should be avoided. Contingency plans should answer such questions as “who?”, “what?”, “where?”, and “why?”. As soon as an organizational vulnerability is identified, and the critical points are mentioned, employees have to follow a plan and cooperate. To ensure the effectiveness of a communication plan during a contingency, it is necessary to check its time-frames, make sure that all steps are real, and inform all stakeholders about possible steps to be taken. It is desirable to have one coordinator to address and make sure that all employees are aware of this person and have all contact information.
Erbschloe, M. (2003). Guide to disaster recovery. Mason, OH: Course Technology.
Teplow, L. (2017). How often should you test your disaster recovery plan? Web.
Whitman, M.E., Mattord, H.J., & Green, A. (2014). Principles of incident response and disaster recovery (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.