Step 1: Create a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) Planning Team

  • Choose team members who have decision-making approval and sufficient authority to gather information companywide.
  • Define team members' responsibilities.
  • Create a clear organizational chart that outlines who is responsible for each aspect of disaster-recovery planning.

Step 2: Evaluate Your Business Processes

  • Evaluate and rank (in order of importance) all business processes.
  • Define what business processes, technology, systems, and applications must be restored for the business to continue operating.
  • Determine the level of disaster protection you want to achieve.

Step 3: Determine Which IT Processes Will Be Incorporated into the DRP

  • Evaluate existing backup and recovery processes.
  • Integrate existing processes into the DRP.
  • Upgrade existing processes as necessary.

Step 4: Implement and Test the DRP

  • Document all duties and responsibilities of people who have disasterrecovery roles.
  • Roll out any additional hardware or software needed.
  • Test the DRP by walking through the disaster-recovery process.
  • Based on feedback from the walk-through, modify the DRP to reflect the actual process.
  • Get final management approval before distributing the final DRP documents.
  • Distribute the final DRP documents to all involved parties.
  • Maintain and securely store offsite printed copies of all DRP documentation.

Step 5: Maintain an Ongoing DRP Process

  • Schedule regular DRP team meetings so that different departments can interact and provide ongoing input into keeping the DRP relevant and up-to-date.
  • Carry out regularly scheduled DRP tests.
  • Schedule regular updates to the DRP to accommodate changes to business processes or technology infrastructure.
  • Schedule regular evaluations of technology and workflow, and update the DRP accordingly.
  • Assign responsibility for all DRP update and maintenance programs to key people, plus designate a central person or persons who'll be responsible for cross-checking any changes.