The Value of an “Untested” Business Continuity and Response Plan

If you are a business continuity professional, at some point you may have heard one of the many excuses for avoiding the testing of recovery and response plans:

  • “It’s not a priority at this time. “
  • “Those types of incidents don’t happen to us.”
  • “We’re really busy this week/month/quarter/year.”
  • “Didn’t we do one last year? Nothing has changed since then.”
  • “Everything we need is backed up. I’m not worried.”

Sound familiar?

When you read between the lines, what they are really saying is “I don’t see the value in taking the time and effort to test and exercise the plan.” What they miss are the realized benefits of testing which include the identification of weaknesses/gaps in strategy and in the plan, as well as a more experienced staff who are prepared and equipped for the next disruption.

One common problem is that organizations are selecting a scenario that is too large and complex for their initial test. This often leads to a disorganized effort, frustrated and disengaged participants, and a two-step fallback in the maturity of their business continuity program. A solid testing plan should identify and communicate where your program is today and where it needs to be. Then develop an incremental roadmap that takes you there. Finally, be sure to measure and report your progress along the way.

If you have any questions about testing and exercising your Business Continuity Plan, please feel free to contact us at:


Jim Lawrence CBCP
Vice President of Business Continuity, CU*Answers