Business Continuity Test Scenarios – the Game!

There’s nothing like making something fun to get people involved and interested, and the same applies to business continuity test scenarios. What makes them fun depends. For some, it’s the intellectual challenge of figuring out the right way to test scenarios to cover the right proportion of all the possible outcomes. For others, it’s a competition to see how well they can do in the face of a test situation that’s put to them. Satisfying both groups of people at the same time can be a challenge, but a recent online simulation game may indicate some possibilities for the future.

The online simulation in question was put together by the BCI (Business Continuity Institute) and run in March, 2011. Although it dealt with a particular situation of a flooding incident also causing rupture in a supply chain, the principles on which the game was constructed mean it could be extended to other business continuity test scenarios as well. BCI made participation in the game available for free, offering a prize for the top three teams entering. It also allowed both BCI members and non-members to play (anonymously if they preferred) as part of the Business Continuity Awareness Week (BCAW) that ran at the time.

Game duration for the business continuity test scenario was estimated at 30 minutes – enough to get a realistic feeling about the situation concerned, while remaining short enough to avoid interest waning or people being called away before finishing. Will this online game come back for general access in 2012? Will it include more test scenarios? Will a version be made available for people to design their own “disasters”? While games are often more complex to design and make than the final product suggests, the potential is considerable for producing relevant and digestible scenarios and making them easily available to different people in an organisation for testing their BC awareness.