Contingency Plan

The contingency plan outlines and lists the business continuity in the unlikely event that the IT project fails or disrupts the client business area or areas. A failure can be a network failure, application failure, system failure, or a complete and utter shutdown of the business. The contingency plan is basically developed from the outcome of a risk analysis. All the project risks are identified, assessed, and categorized accordingly by priorities.

The project manager develops the contingency plan for the project, including a mitigation strategy for each risk that is identified. The most severe or highest priority risks are those items likely cause a major disruption to the business within a predetermined period of time (e.g., 3 hours). Nevertheless, because of the potential disruption to the business, it is vital to put a contingency plan in place, both during the project and also once the system has been commissioned and put in operation. The plan should list the critical items likely to fail and list the available resources needed to support these items. The contingency plan should list the procedures that would be necessary to permit the timely restoration of services back to normal.

The project support staff and testing teams need to be involved in the contingency planning and need to prepare items such as

• A disaster notification process and strategy

• Disaster recovery and backup procedures for applications and files

• A list of who the role players are in the event of an emergency

• A list of essential equipment needed to support the solution

• The project manager needs to be certain that a design to accommodate possible minor disruptions and an alternative backup for any major disruption that could occur are in place.

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