Keep these concepts in mind, as this chapter is all about building the processes and procedures you will need
to activate your DR plan. These will be unique because your organization is unique and will have different potential
disasters to plan for, a different set of premises, different staff, and a different IT infrastructure. The concepts I raise
should help you think about those questions for which you don't have answers.
Let's take a closer look at the concept of a process and its relationship to the objectives that inform it and the
procedures that implement the plan.
What Is a Process?
A process is a series of tasks. Despite expectations, a process is not simply a high-level Visio flowchart. A diagram is
just a sketch or description of the process. A process is a real thing that combines people, tools, and tasks. It is a set
of actions. A process consists of a number of elements and has a number of dependencies. The most important are
the roles and responsibilities of the people assigned to do the work. These tie in with the 4Ci in the Chapter 2. Who is
responsible for doing what and how will they communicate?
No flowchart can capture the complexity of what people need to do when disaster hits. However, the process of
creating a process can in itself be valuable because it makes people think in a more organized way.
A disaster is not a situation anyone would want to be in; it's fundamentally unpredictable. As a result, your
processes must be elastic. Processes are a journey, not a destination. They are drawn up to evaluate risk and help
recover from a disaster. They can't be depended on to exactly match the disaster; if they could, you could just avoid
the disaster altogether!
The key element in the success of a disaster recovery plan is what roles have been assigned to whom. It is
impossible to document everything that needs to be done in every eventuality in a disaster situation. You can,
however, assign key roles to calm, reasonable, experienced people who can analyze a situation and work toward a
solution. You need good people assigned to the right roles and good backups for those people if they are not available.
A process also depends on appropriate tools and equipment to support these individuals in doing their jobs.
These have to be put in place in advance (this will be covered in later chapters). Knowing how to use these tools may
require additional training.
Processes exist within a framework of policies and standards. A process consists of procedures and methods
defining how to do the tasks and the relationships between the tasks. Figure 3-1 shows the relationships.
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