DISASTER RECOVERY AND COOP PLANNING
Today’s consumers expect businesses, especially healthcare, financial services and emergency services like 911, to provide their services regardless of the situation.
California customers don’t care about a flood in Maryland and Arizona customers are sorry that there is a blizzard in New York but that blizzard hardly interrupts their day. They still want their issues resolved regardless.
Disaster Recovery Plans and Continuity Plans – What’s the Difference?
Any disruption in business is a potential loss of revenue and customer base. Disaster Recovery (DR) and Continuity of Operations plans (COOP) many times are misunderstood.
COOP focuses on the continuation of business services in the event of any type of interruption. DR refers to the company’s business data; specifically, how to store it and then recover it in the shortest amount of time possible. Think of COOP as proactive, preparing ahead of time, while DR is the plan for what happens afterwards.
COOP – Continuity of Operations
Continuity of Operations (COOP) is a United States federal government initiative, required by U.S. Presidential directive, to ensure that agencies can continue performance of essential functions under a broad range of circumstances.
What’s good for the government is good for private business. Today there are many circumstances like bad weather or broken technology, to name a few, that bring down contact centers and having a continuity plan is mission critical. It’s a good business practice and yet many organizations overlook it.
The development, maintenance, training, and exercising strategy of maintaining the COOP plan require an actively managed program. The COOP is a document illustrating how the company will carry out its essential functions given some type of disruption.
Trial Runs and Tests
A disaster recovery test is the examination of each step in a DR plan, as outlined in the organization’s business continuity/disaster recovery plan.
Many companies are proud of themselves upon completion of a DR/COOP plan. While it is a great accomplishment, this is not the end of the road. DR testing many times is pushed aside due to lack of resources and the idea that the plan seems “good enough”. A disaster is not the time to see if your plan works. Testing boils down to communications, data recovery and application recovery. Beyond that depends on your recovery point and recovery time objectives.
Testing is like a fire drill. Organizations today regularly have fire drills and emergency communication tests with their employees. A DR test should also be completed on a regular basis and be incorporated into planned maintenance and staff training. The test results are the only way to know if your plan works, what changes are needed and what is to be left alone. The testing phase is as critical as the plan itself. Don’t skip it!
Disaster Recovery Plans
How much is your company willing to risk?
Many companies try to save money on DR plans because it many times requires additional hardware and resources. Until, for whatever reason, disaster hits and critical data like employee time cards are lost and the company is unable to pay their employees. Then, companies take DR more seriously. Don’t wait for disaster to strike first. Disaster recovery is a documented plan to determine the process and procedure to protect business data and IT infrastructure. It plans for server availability, downtime scenarios, and maintenance.
INDUSTRY SERVICE TIPS
1. Contract with your local convention center for a backup location. Bring your laptops and plug into their unlimited data pipeline already installed and available.
2. The best disaster recovery defense is a second location. Bring up additional cloud based seats in minutes.
Disaster Recovery and Continuity of Operations plans are like any insurance policy. You don’t see the benefits until you experience an event that triggers a claim. The goal is to have a DR and COOP plan to avoid ever having to use them. Being prepared for the worst provides customers and management a sense of security. Minimizing risk of delays, lost customer and employee information, reducing potential legal liabilities, all minimize decision-making during a disaster while guaranteeing the reliability of standby systems. Today the risk of the inevitable is greater than ever. Prepare ahead of time. Having a plan ready to be executed, when you need one, will minimize the loss.
A Day In the Life
An LDTs day will include some self-study, perhaps an online course as well as a group video and discussion. The LDT’s will be assigned a project to manage which includes managing the results, the people who are doing the work as well as resolving any issues that come up. The LDT will also shadow the department manager in meetings and conference calls.
Once a week the LDT and manager will have a one-on-one to check in on the assigned project, provide feedback, review program objectives, test results and if there is job rotation determine if the LDT is ready to move to the next phase of the LDP.
The graduates from the program and is promoted to a leadership position within the contact center. This is an exciting day for everyone. This sends a strong message out to the agents that the company is committed to their success and the LDP process does work.
Evaluation is an important part of graduation. Everyone needs to answer the following questions:
– How well is this program working?
– Did it accomplish the stated goals that were set out in the beginning?
– Evaluate the knowledge and skills transfer, the behavior changes, and if possible the impact on business and any ROI.
– Did everyone graduate? How many participants were promoted as a result?
– Are participants more effective in their current jobs?
Scour evaluations for suggestions and improvement ideas and put those into practice in your next round and each time you will move your Leadership Development Program even higher.
VIDEO FROM OUR EXPERTS
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