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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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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:

[downloads tags=”468″ buy_button=”yes” price=”no” number=”18″ columns=”3″]

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Can your business survive? Top Ten Tips: Ensure your Business Survives Natural Disasters

In the USA disasters force up to 40% of small businesses to cease trading. Can your business survive?… Get the top ten essential preparedness tips here.


Each year it feels like the UK braces for it’s worst storm in years. In the US hurricanes have repeatedly savaged coastlines and wrecked communities. and the profound consequences of superstorms continue to affect the people and businesses left in their wake.

According to FEMA (U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency) disasters force up to 40% of small businesses to cease trading, permanently. Smaller companies comprised of 50 employees or less, face a great impact, compared to larger companies with multiple trading sites. Those areas facing existing tough economic trading conditions fare the worst, where the trading conditions were challenging to begin with.

Many businesses take an incredibly long time to reopened. Then there are the additional pressures from increased insurance costs, the decline in tourist numbers and damage to local infrastructure. Many business owners, faced with the additional costs of essentially restarting their business from scratch,  simply give up.

The SRA (U.S. Small Business Administration) calculate that of the estimated   60,000 to 100,000 small businesses that were negatively impacted by hurricanes 30 percent failed as a direct result of the storm.

With the inherent risk from such events, how can you protect your business? The answer in one word is preparedness. The more prepared you are, the more likely your business is to survive. The Business Docs top ten essential preparedness tips will help you prepare for the unexpected:

  1.  Check your insurance cover.  This is a bit of a no-brainer but how many of us actually read insurance documents? Thoroughly check that you have all the cover you need, that the policies are in force and there are no hidden policy conditions, which might cause problems if you need to make a claim. Arrange a meeting with your broker to ensure your insurance meets your needs as a business.
  2.  Think beyond natural disaster. We often imagine a disaster to be a hurricane or earthquake. However, a comprehensive threat assessment should include other potential threats, including drought, burglary, power outages, terrorism, cyber attack, or any other events which pose a substantial threat to your business.
  3. Have a comprehensive BCP (Business Continuity Plan). A comprehensive BCP is essential in ensuring that your business can be reinstated as soon as possible following an event. Working out what to do before an event occurs, ensures that you maintain control of your business.
  4. Make sure employees know what to and stay safe. As a business owner, if a disaster occurs your first priority is to ensure the safety of your customers and employees. If employees know what to do and how to handle the situation, they can take effective control and ensure the safety of all involved.
  5. Carry a copy of your business continuity plan with you. A disaster can happen at any time, ensure that you have access to your plan at all times by keeping it with you.
  6. Keep the contact details for your employees up to date. Staying in contact with your employees in a business continuity event is crucial. Ensure that you have the current contact details for all your employees. Check with all your employees once a month to ensure their details is current.
  7. Have an alternate site or recovery work area for your business. Many businesses are reliant upon a single site that their business operates from. If that site is destroyed or rendered inoperative, consider how your business would survive. Alternate sites or recovery work areas can be rented for your business to move into immediately if your usual site cannot be used.
  8. Have a strategy. Having a plan is additional work and expense that you might never need. However, if the worst were to happen, you would be thankful you planned ahead.
  9. Stay in contact and have your business equipment available. If a disaster were to occur, the last thing you need to have happen is not to have essential business equipment with you. Keep your company cell phone, laptop, tablets, tool kits, medical kits and anything else that you might need with you. Ensure employees do the same, so you can stay in communication with them and they have the essential equipment at hand.
  10. Inform your customers. In all of this, don’t forget your customers. Informing your customers that you have comprehensive continuity plans, displays due diligence and commitment towards them. If a business continuity event occurs, contact your customers and keep them reassured.

We can help you!

  1. Disaster Recovery Plan Template
  2. Business Continuity Plan
  3. RAID Log
  4. Project Dashboard
  5. Roll-out Plan
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RAG Status – Show your Project Status!

Rag Status

“RAG Status” stands for R / A / G = Red, Amber or Green (it’s an acronym, which means Annoying Manager Word!)

RAG status is clearly communicated in this Dashboard template

It is commonly used in Project Status reporting to communicate the level of risk.

The Idiots Guide to RAG STATUS

  1. RED = High Risk
  2. AMBER = Medium Risk
  3. GREEN = Low Risk

The Typical RAG Status Conversation

Manager: “What is your RAG status, Mr Smithers?”

You: “I have GREEN for Project Sunshine, and AMBER for Project Saving Rear”

Good – you passed!

Need more help? Here are a few RAG Status Examples

Watch Out – RAG STATUS can mean different things !!

“Do I need to poke nose in and mess your life up??” Management RAG Status

  3. GREEN = Your manager reverts to NORMAL PAIN IN THE REAR.

THE TRUTH: Project Manager’s RAG Status

This is what it really means.

  1. RED = My project is ABOUT TO GO BANG. I am PROTECTING MY ASS.
  2. AMBER = My project is ABOUT TO GO RED.
  3. GREEN = My project seems OK, so IT WILL BE AMBER OR RED NEXT WEEK.

MORE JARGON: “Issue Focussed RAG Status”

This will impress your managers. Use these exact words if you want to appear all business-like:

  1. RED = LIVE ISSUE: remedial action is required to bring the project back within budget or delivery schedule
  2. AMBER = ISSUE is being addressed: remedial action is in progress, and ISSUE is being addressed
  3. GREEN = NO LIVE ISSUE: no action required

Some more generalised Risk and Status communication formats

Summary – use RAG Status carefully!

RAG Status is a great tool for communicating status quickly, but beware : Make sure you define what the Red, Amber, and Green mean for you and your stakeholders!