The challenge of testing is that the production environment typically changes faster than your ability to test it. The result is that instead of each test being bigger and more aggressive, each one tends to repeat the previous albeit for the latest version of hardware, software and applications.
The implementation of Life-Cycle testing will help ensure that the original investment of developing the recovery capability is protected and that test resources are maximized by following an organized, progressive cycle. Life-Cycle testing is a natural extension of the testing conducted during and immediately following plan development. It is required on a periodic basis, typically two to three times per year, to (a) verify accuracy and refine plan action steps, (b) routinely reconfirm task durations and streamline the recovery process, and (c) continually reinforce the understanding of the plan and refresh the recovery team members’ ability to respond. The long term program Life-Cycle helps ensure that each test builds upon the proven capabilities of the previous test by constantly and consistently increasing both the objectives and scope of each test.
Once the objective of progressive testing is accepted, it fosters a focus on continuous improvement. Costs of testing are soon replaced with investments in technologies and techniques that in turn inherently improve recovery capabilities. When combined with an ongoing needs definition process that accurately quantifies recovery requirements and requisites, RTOs and RPOs can be improved through design and planning instead of spending.