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Disaster Recovery Planning in 2020 – be ready in the “new normal”

Disaster Recovery Plan - Template Toolkit - 48% off

Disaster Recovery Planning in 2020 has gained a lot of attention. In the past DRP has frequently been overlooked. Now, many organisations are struggling to manage in a serious business disaster situation.

Many DRP Templates are huge, daunting, and just not Agile!

If you don’t have time to read a text book and become a DRP expert, we can help you through the process.

We’ve spent a lot of time researching DRP templates and guides. There are plenty of free DRP resources trying to help, but they frequently very long winded, and use a lot of jargon.

What is there for the professional that wants to make a DRP, give an update presentation, and do all of this without going on training for 6 months?

Introducing the “Five S” Disaster Recovery Plan Toolkit

We have assembled a toolkit of DRP templates, complete with helpful guidance, to help professionals get rapid progress on their DRP plans.

This enables you to make a rapid, structured draft of your DRP, and start bringing your stakeholders on board quickly.

The DRP Toolkit uses our “Five S Methodology”

  1. Systems
  2. Services
  3. Staff
  4. Suppliers
  5. Sites
Disaster Recovery Plan Toolkit
Disaster Recovery Plan Toolkit


How can I make a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) quickly?

1. Break your thinking down into the “Five S” DRP areas: Systems, Services, Staff, Suppliers, Sites.
2. Outline your plans for each area in the event of a disaster: Contingency plans, fallback plans, and operational procedures.
3. Roll it out across your organisation, and treat it as a living set of documents – it must be regularly reviewed, updated, and everyone should know their role.

How do I avoid common mistakes in Disaster Recovery Planning?

1. Use a structured approach.
2. Keep the plans and owners in each area updated frequently.
3. Be sure to have a summary of the plan, for new starters to use.

Is there an Agile Disaster Recovery Planning Approach?

You can use a structured, “5 S” approach to DRP in order to get the planning ready iteratively, so that you can show transparent progress to stakeholders and your whole organisation while the DRP is assembled.

How can I create, manage and present my Disaster Recovery Plan?

Use a set of templates to organise your approach to DRP creation, so that you can save your time, avoid common mistakes, and enable your plans to look professional in a short amount of time.

How do I present a Disaster Recovery Plan?

You can create an informative and impressive Disaster Recovery Plan Presentation using a DRP template made by experienced DRP professionals.

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Roadmap Project Template

Roadmap Project Template

We have been creating Roadmap Project Template designs since the early 2000s. Our customers include all the top consultancies, and professionals across over 190 countries.

Our History with Roadmap Project Templates

We first started creating Roadmap Project Templates in the early 2000s in the media industry. Our formats quickly became popular as a simple way to communicate strategy and project plans.

Why does the Roadmap format work well?

The Roadmap format is so effective because it enables your readers to see the whole story within minutes! You can see the timeframe, the key project elements, the risks, the milestones, and any important moments AT A GLANCE. A good roadmap can be read within 3 minutes.

Roadmap Project Template: in early 2000s

While the format remains the same – the timeline, workstreams and milestones – this roadmap format is considerably closer to 1990s design.

Portfolio Roadmap Template (Visio)
Portfolio Roadmap Template (Visio)

Then in 2010

As we left the 2000s, it became popular to include a dashboard and dials in your roadmap. This meant the presenter could report on project plans, and current status, within minutes. All in one screen!

The Powerpoint Roadmap + Dashboard communicates Product Status at a glance
This Powerpoint Roadmap includes a Dashboard to communicate project status at a glance.

Our formats in 2019

As we reach present day, the formats become more contemporary. This Hack Event Roadmap (for Hackathon planning) has more of an infographic style.

This Roadmap Template is used for Hackathon Event Rollout.

Find out more

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How to plan an Industry Hackathon Event

We have been involved in planning Industry Hackathon Events since 2012. As a result we have a refined process with expert resources.

“Hackathon” or “Hack Event”?

These days, the term “Hackathon” brings to mind herds of spotty nerds consuming pizza and staying awake for 3 days. It hails from the days when the event was more competition than a collaborative exercise.

“Hack Event” has become the more comfortable label for this routine of intense multidiscipline collaboration, with colleagues, to explore a shared challenge. Many successful corporations and product teams hold regular Hack Events as part of their working process.

Above all, Hackathons are a means to creating a culture of innovation.

The 4 stages of Planning & Delivery

This approach has worked well over the years for Industry Hackathons, where multiple competing organisations participate.

We base our approach on 30 areas broken into 4 sections: Business Case, Event Design, Event Rollout, and Event Delivery.

  1. BUSINESS CASE: Make the case for your Hackathon Event.
    1. Rationale.
    2. Benefits.
    3. Expectation Management.
    4. Hack Event Canvas.
    5. Three Horizons.
    6. FROST Innovation Framework.
  2. EVENT DESIGN: Design the key elements to deliver your Hackathon.
    1. Roadmap.
    2. Brand.
    3. Theme.
    4. Challenges.
    5. Target Participants.
    6. Location.
    7. Schedule.
    8. Support.
  3. EVENT ROLLOUT: Prepare your event and sign up your participants!
    1. Roadmap.
    2. Venue.
    3. Participants Hitlist.
    4. Suppliers.
    5. Managing invitations.
    6. Marketing Tools and Resources.
    7. Hack Team Formation.
  4. EVENT DELIVERY: Show time – Make your “event day” run smoothly!
    1. Get in.
    2. Registration.
    3. Kickoff.
    4. Support.
    5. Group Updates.
    6. Demo.
    7. Wrap up.
    8. Retrospective.
    9. Next Steps.

Extra tools for tracking your Hackathon delivery

Manage the detail while you deliver your event:-

  1. Master Checklist and Dashboard.
  2. Event Budget Spreadsheet.

Common Industry Hackathon Questions

Will a Hackathon event help us produce the next Unicorn?

It is not likely. However, if you hold Hackathons regularly, you will a) create exciting & feasible concepts more frequently, and b) shut down unviable concepts more rapidly. This will increase your efficiency exploiting new, profitable product opportunities.

How do we measure success for a Hackathon?

If run well, Hackathons are a great way to increase talent attraction and retention, and to increase competitive advantage. Ask the participants if they would recommend the experience to a colleague. If “yes”, you have a talent success. Monitor the concepts in your Three Horizons pipeline – if it is growing after the Hackathon, then you have a success.

Why run a Hackathon at all?

Hackathons encourage intense multidiscipline collaboration, and this serves to:-
1) reduce feedback loops for idea hand-off between disciplines from days to seconds.
2) Bad ideas get tested and closed down quickly.
3) Good ideas get iterated and optimised quickly.
This process is exciting, exhausting, and is the best way to get the best from your talented staff’s experience and expertise.
Hackathons offer a unique process of intense collaboration, where multidiscipline teams attack a problem with rapid iteration and multidiscipline thinking.

If we hold an Industry Hackathon, won’t our competitors steal our great new ideas?

In terms of the risk of competitors stealing your intellectual property, Hackathon events are no more risky that conferences; we regularly send our staff to conferences to “mix with the enemy”. The benefits of Hackathons in terms of a) advancing your staffs’ experience, b) job satisfaction, and c) talent attraction {if you do your PR properly} far outweigh the small risk that someone else will try and succeed in mobilising a new idea first!


The above 30 planning and delivery areas will help you deliver a great Industry Hackathon.

There will always be critics, but Hackathon events are a potent force in driving innovation in for your organisation.

The benefits are such that 80% of Fortune 100 companies use hack events, and 50% of those do it regularly (Source – HackerEarth).

Some of our Industry Hackathon Event Resources

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Keep your Disaster Recovery Plan simple – use the “Five S” approach

DRP Robustness Dashboard Template, with dials

Disaster Recovery Plans can sprawl into huge documents, and the help available on the internet can be daunting & lengthy. What can you do to keep it simple?

We’ve created a focussed, structured approach to building your disaster recovery plan: “Five S”.

The “Five S” Disaster Recovery Plan.

This structured approach helps you create your business disaster mitigation planning around these five areas:-

  1. Systems
  2. Services
  3. Staff
  4. Suppliers
  5. Sites

For each of these five areas we focus on the Business Impacts, the mitigation plans, and the summarisation of important information for your reporting to your CEO and your Exec Board.

“Five S” Disaster Recovery Plan Tools to help you focus:

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How do I fix Visio timeline problems?

Problems with Visio Timelines corrupting

Visio Timelines are often causing issues. The compatibility issues between Visio versions seem particularly acute with timeline feature, and we have been asked for support frequently in this area.

Frequent customer question:-

How do I fix Visio timeline problems?

My timelines are breaking whenever I change the dates or time intervals.

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The Solution:-

We have seen this problem a lot lately, especially with older files from Visio 2002 and 2003.

  1. Save your Visio document to a new file.
  2. If you have milestones you want to keep, drag them off the faulty timeline.
  3. Delete the faulty timeline, and save document.
  4. Create a blank Visio file, and use the shape “Search” to find the right timeline format.
  5. Setup the timeline in your blank file.
  6. When ready, copy it to your main document, and drag milestones onto it.
  7. Done.
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Visio Roadmap Templates – Shape Fixing and Timeline Repairs

Fixing Visio Roadmap Template Timeline Issues

We have been busy with Spring Cleaning! The Visio Roadmap Templates needed a good dusting off.

My timeline keeps breaking… please HELP ME!

Some of our customers using Visio 2010+ were seeing compatibility issues. Well, we have fixed them!

What breaks in Visio Roadmap Templates?

These are some of the symptoms that customers have reported

  1. The text within shapes is not editable.
  2. The timeline breaks when the dates are changed.
  3. The timeline format goes STRANGE when the dates are changed.
  4. The timeline COMPLETELY BREAKS when the intervals are changed.

(And we have fixed them!)

Why? What caused these issues?

  1. People ask Microsoft for new features.
  2. New features get introduced.
  3. The new features break existing implementations.

Some of our Visio formats have been popular for 10 years. So it is not surprising they need updating!

Visio Templates that have been fixed and upgraded.


Contact us.

Contact us if you have any troubles with our Visio Roadmaps.