SMB Disaster Recovery Plan Templates and the 3P Principle

Small and medium businesses often rely on being nimble enough in the market to compete with big businesses. A “disaster recovery plan template for SMBs” would ideally take that into account, covering all the different aspects of such businesses, while remaining concise enough to facilitate updates as business configurations change with market conditions. The trouble is that templates as generally applicable are unlikely to both effective and efficient at the same time. Perhaps the following “3P principle” could help put you put your own more manageable template in place.

The value of a suitable disaster recovery plan template is in the specific relevance and thoroughness of the checklist of things you need to include in your particular case, the list of processes to be followed regularly to ensure that the DR plan also translates into real DR preparedness, and the degree to which the template helps you update your DR planning – company-wide or department by department. If a suitable template already exists for your organisation and your activity, it makes sense to use it. There’s no point in getting ensnared in an NIH (not invented here) syndrome. If it doesn’t exist however, then the 3P principle of “planning, partner and process” can be the basis for making and using one.

First, do some DR planning yourself to make a draft template that fits your business. Getting directly involved means if disaster strikes you’ll understand better what to do and have a better chance of recovery. You can often do much of the necessary planning in a relatively short time (the “80/20” rule). Second, instead of spending a long time sweating out the remaining 20%, have a competent partner such as a DR consultant complete it with you by ensuring all necessary points are adequately addressed, including documentation, backups, testing, updates and other processes. Thirdly, execute the processes as regularly as required. The end result should be a disaster recovery plan template that fits your organisation and facilitates changes as your environment and activity change.