Planning for disaster recovery is a long process; however, it
doesn’t actually end when the documents are signed and the products and
services you need are bought. What is the state of your current DR plan, and
how much work do you need to do before it’s ready for production?

Tracking the progress of your DR plan implementation isn’t as
easy as it might sound up front. There are benchmarks that can be staged so
that you can report back to management as steps are being taken, but properly
managing the placement and reporting on these benchmarks can become a bit of a
nightmare. Several factors will come into play when dealing with milestones. First,
keep in mind that there may be several steps to complete before a major
milestone is completed. Tasks such as procurement of varied hardware components
and their assembly into server systems may be required before you can tick off
that the hardware has been put into place. Although this may seem obvious to
those who are technically savvy, remember that management may have no idea what
steps go into the creation of hardware server systems, and they may need to be
fully educated to understand your DR plan progress.

Also keep in mind that you’ll often have to work with several
vendors and outside consultants to piece together various components of your
plan. You’re going to be utilizing new hardware and software solutions, which
will most likely require professional installation services and training to be
effective. This means that not only do you need to track your own staff’s
progress in DR plan execution, but also the work of these outside concerns. Holding
regular status meetings with all concerned typically can help, but keep in mind
that sometimes you’ll have competing companies supplying different components
of your DR solutions. Be ready for requests for multiple calls so that
competitors don’t have to give each other their trade secrets on an open
conference call.

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Finally, you will often find that as each milestone is
completed, you will not only need to report up the chain of command that this
section of the project is complete, but also be ready to report on delays and
expected timeline changes. These can easily occur if a critical portion of the
project faces a delay, causing a domino effect that extends the overall
deadline considerably. Delays such as these are generally inevitable. You’d be
very lucky not to have a single thing go awry or need a little extra time. Reporting
on them immediately and re-drawing the timeline to take the delays into account
become critical in tracking your time to completion.

Tracking the progress of your DR plan is a necessary part of
the overall DR planning process. Just because you know what needs to be done,
doesn’t mean your job is done. Check out these project management downloads
from TechRepublic if you need help tracking your DR implementation: