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Can you prepare a business recovery plan without management approval?

You should be able to justify the need for a BC/DR plan. But here's what you can do if you fail to get management buy-in and you still want disaster recovery in your organization.

One of the most important activities to complete when planning a business continuity and disaster recovery initiative is securing management approval. This usually means submitting a business recovery plan and program budget.

If you are unable to sell the importance of BC/DR -- or the importance of writing a business recovery plan -- to company leaders from either a business or financial perspective, you won't receive critical management support and funding. Both of these factors are crucial to a successful program.

You need to convince management that a BC/DR initiative will benefit the organization, will provide a reasonable return on investment and merits inclusion with other ongoing company activities.

Moving forward with business DR planning

If management says no to a BC/DR initiative, what can you do? First, don't pursue a BC/DR initiative in direct defiance of management's ruling. That's likely to get you into trouble and may cost you your position.

Consider discussing your ideas with other departments, such as IT, and see if you can partner with them. Many IT departments have some form of DR activity in place, so you may be able to help them enhance their plans, assist them with plan tests and help them update their documentation. You could organize an internal project with another department that provides evidence that a business recovery plan is beneficial. Assuming the results are favorable, you may be able to approach management once again, this time armed with success stories.

A fairly recent option is disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) organizations that can help protect data from loss or destruction by facilitating regular backups into cloud storage areas. Failed servers and other devices can be replicated and ready for use with cloud-based services. DRaaS firms can also prepare a business recovery plan and support it. This might be a viable alternate strategy to launching your own BC/DR plan.

Finally, if management still says no, you can find BC/DR templates and other ready-to-use documents that can be turned into a business recovery plan in a few hours. You may have to limit the level of detail, such as not listing technical procedures for recovering servers or networks. But if you have some specific, action-oriented steps in the document, you'll have a good start. You'll also be prepared to move forward when management changes its mind about your idea.

The good news: Most managers and employees are aware of business continuity and disaster recovery. While BC and DR are not always in management's top 10 list of priorities, they are recognized activities. That means the task of selling BC/DR has been made a bit easier, simply by virtue of the knowledge that the activities exist.

Next Steps

Stand up for your business DR plan

Funding often impedes business recovery plans

How to conduct DR testing without a big budget

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