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Testing a Contingency Plan in Business


Doing business and maintaining a good and productive one is quite a wide venture that requires the input of many factors. The success of a business venture is not all about the supply of goods and the demands of the customers. It also requires that the business is ready for any unexpected occurrences. These occurrences can be natural disasters, security threats, cyber crimes, and loss of crucial company data. Despite such issues, the company should be able to run, and this is what will necessitate the development of contingency plans.

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Contingency plans can be defined as the strategies that companies and businesses set up to prepare them for any emergencies. These plans include the steps that companies can take if they are faced with any unexpected occurrence, (Carafano & Sauter 2005)


Once the company has its contingency plans then it has to test them. Testing the effectiveness of a contingency plan is necessary because it forms the basis for realizing flaws in these plans, and thereafter taking the necessary measures to correct them. Two strategies can be used to test a contingency plan, namely, simulation and classroom exercise also known as tabletop exercise. The tabletop strategy is where the company takes some officials then they go through the strategies by a manner of discussion. In this strategy, they are not able to feel the real operation occurrence.

The functional or simulation strategy presents real scenarios and practical occurrences. In this strategy, the company may take one of their staff who can act as an outsider, then this individual will try to pose a threat to the business and the business or company reacts to it as if it is an actual threat. In this case, the company can test how much it is prepared in case such a threat happens. Not to mention, this strategy is quite costly and time-consuming

Companies that have done the testing

An example of a company that has put in place the contingency plans and has gone ahead to test them is the Vanguard Company. This company has taken a lot of measures to make sure that the company can run well even in the event of a disaster. One of the tests that the company has done is closing the offices and running the company from a remote location. The company has gone ahead to prepare for the threat of data security by having a backup of data in various locations.

Furthermore, I was able to study Bain & Company reports. I found out that the company has chosen to use contingency planning to try and prepare for any unforeseen threats and dangers. For the company, this methodology enables it to trace any challenges that it might encounter and as such be ready for them. After the company tested the contingency plans, it found out some of the issues that it might have to encounter, and it was able to realize how much it is prepared. It is worth mentioning that the company remarked that the procedure is quite costly and time-consuming (Bain, 2013)

An investigation in the Global gas and oil Industry also revealed the steps that they have taken to handle the risks of unexpected occurrences. The company has made sure that its operation would not be grounded in case of any danger in its operations. This company has even gone ahead to test these strategies and approved that they are working. The study of its reports, reveals that the time required to take the test is more than a year, and it is a tedious process (Ipieca, 2013).

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It is evident that most companies and businesses are aware of contingency planning, but in most cases, they do so little to implement them or even test these plans. What happens is that when they are faced with a real problem, they realize that the plans are not working and their operations are grounded. It is important then that these companies take steps to test their plans properly.

Reference list

Bain, (2013). Insights management tools. Web.

Carafano, J., & Sauter, M., (2005). Homeland Security: A complete guide to Understanding, Preventing, and Surviving Terrorism, New York: McGraw-Hill. Publishers.

Ipieca, (2013). The global oil and gas industry association for environmental and Social issues. Web.

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