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Disaster Planning Includes You


Disaster Planning Includes You

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Andy Warren
Andy Warren
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Disaster Planning Includes You

Andy
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chrisn-585491
chrisn-585491
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We focus on the hardware and the software and the data, but we tend to forget about the people, the most important, most expensive, most fragile part of the disaster plan.


"Only upper management and shareholders are valuable, everyone else is easily replaceable or can be outsourced." - One of my company C-level executives.
Bill Goldberg
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An excellent and often overlooked element of DR - the human element. Thanks for a dose of reality.
Toby Harman
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Totally agree, and the Business Continuity plan should cover this in detail. People are always your key risk, be it sabotage, ransom, theft, sickness or simply absent.
Andy Warren
Andy Warren
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Thanks for the comments!

Andy
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Keith Langmead
Keith Langmead
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Completely agree. In a way I think it's almost the most difficult area to deal with, since apart from anything else you're not just dealing with some abstract object, you're dealing with peoples lives.

I remember putting together a DR plan for a company I used to work for years ago, and the difficulty of simply getting through to the Directors the concept of "what if you're not contactable" in terms of simple things like having the authority to pay for things to be repaired / replaced quickly was the main stumbling block of the whole thing.

There are a few simple things you can do though, for instance ensuring there is a chain of contact to allow you to contact all staff in the event that your systems (and therefore easy access to your normal contacts system) are not available. Something like ensuring all management have each others mobile numbers on their phones, all line managers have their own team members on the phones. If something goes badly wrong then a few phone calls can quickly spread the word. Also, if you're getting your techies in to work through the night to get things up and running again, have you pre-approved things like ordering in pizza or booking a hotel room? It's a tiny thing, but in the heat of the moment you don't want to be worrying about who's going to pay for it, will the company refund it etc, you need to be concentrating on getting the work done, and know that management will support that.
SQLRNNR
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chrisn-585491 (11/23/2010)
We focus on the hardware and the software and the data, but we tend to forget about the people, the most important, most expensive, most fragile part of the disaster plan.


"Only upper management and shareholders are valuable, everyone else is easily replaceable or can be outsourced." - One of my company C-level executives.


I have heard that same sentiment.



Jason AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
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Garry Morris
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One oft overlooked part of a DR Plan is to actually try to implement it once in a while! War game it and try to think through the potential bottlenecks and challenges (including key people being unavailable, etc).

A former company I worked for spent loads of time on their DR plan, and figured they had everything figured out. I was ignored when I suggested that we stage a failure and attempt to implement the plan. About a month after I was laid off, a critical data storage unit failed, taking all of the EComm sites for Fortune 500's offline. It was going to take a week for the new part to come in to repair the storage device and get everything back online. When they tried to fail over to their backup site, they had a number of suddenly obvious deficiencies in their plan show up. Net result - they were offline with their clients for four or five days. Considering the uptime clauses in their contracts, I shudder to think of what it cost them (though part of me gleefully enjoyed hearing about it from a former co-worker, guess I'm a little vindictive :-D ).
brendan.oconnor
brendan.oconnor
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How do you manage to keep people in the office when there is a storm coming? And how do you manage to get them back in the office after the storm hits? How do you persuade them?

Here in England our country has closed down because we've got a little bit of snow.
Garry Morris
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If you're that concerned about having people "in the office", you may be out of luck. Some folks (myself included), will not risk their wellbeing by driving in hazardous conditions (my employers are always told that I refuse to come into, or remain within, the office if there is an ice storm that will coat the roads with ice). Providing key players with the ability to work remotely may be key to providing needed staffing during adverse weather (or health) conditions.
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