Rehearse your plan
Testing and rehearsing your plan is one of the fundamental parts of contingency planning. It gives you an opportunity to plan in a "safe" environment, without risk to the business. There are various levels of rehearsal or evaluation which you can use. They will vary with cost and value but a planning lifecycle should allow for a variety of tests:
- Table Top exercise - test your plan using a "what if?" written scenario. New pieces of information can be added as the scenario unfolds
- Communications Test - with or without warning, a test message is sent out to everyone at the top of the call cascade lists in the plan(s). An audit can then take place on how well information was communicated through your organisation
- Full rehearsal - a full rehearsal will show you how well different elements in your plan work together, which may not have become clear when you tested the individual parts. However, this can be an expensive way to test your plan.