Structured Assignment – Compiled Business Continuity Plan

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The information in this document will be used as a template to develop your business continuity/disaster recovery plan. Input the upcoming weeks’ projects into the attached continuity plan template to fulfill the requirements of the project. On week seven, a final draft of your business continuity/disaster recovery plan and PowerPoint of the plan will be submitted and graded per the rubrics assigned to that project.

Although there is no specific equation that must be followed to create continuity plans, there are best practices that have proven themselves over time. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) organization is responsible for developing these best practices and documenting them so that they are easily available to all. NIST outlines the following steps in its Special Publication 800-34, Continuity Planning Guide for Information Technology Systems:

  1. Develop the continuity planning policy statement: A formal department or agency policy provides the authority and guidance necessary to develop an effective continuity plan.
  2. Conduct the business impact analysis (BIA): The BIA helps to identify and prioritize critical IT systems and components. A template for developing the BIA is also provided to assist the user.
  3. Identify preventive controls: Measures taken to reduce the effects of system disruptions can increase system availability and reduce continuity life cycle costs.
  4. Develop recovery strategies: Thorough recovery strategies ensure that the system may be recovered quickly and effectively following a disruption.
  5. Develop an IT continuity plan: The continuity plan should contain detailed guidance and procedures for restoring a damaged system.
  6. Plan testing, training, and exercises: Testing the plan identifies planning gaps, whereas training prepares recovery personnel for plan activation; both activities improve plan effectiveness and overall agency preparedness.
  7. Plan maintenance: The plan should be a living document that is updated regularly to remain current with system enhancements.

The Structured External Assignment for this class will be the compilation of a completed Business Continuity Plan from the materials produced through the block. The Business Continuity Plan will be organized as follows and is worth 20% of your final grade:

  • Management overview
  • Business Continuity Plan deployment instructions
  • Maintenance log
  • Contact list
  • Index
    • An index page
    • One section for each scenario covered in the Business Continuity Plan
  • Supporting documentation
    • BCP Policies
    • Completed Business Impact Analysis
    • Preventive Control recommendations
    • Test Plan
    • Change control process

The final Business Continuity Plan will be in a format presentable to management. Instructions contained in the document should be clear, simple, and usable by people responsible for implementing the plan. The rubric for this assignment can be viewed when clicking on the assignment link.

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