It’s 10 o’clock, Do You Know Where Your DR Plan Is? Part 1 - Where to Start

Ways to Get your Disaster Recovery Plan Back on Track

by Brian McGinty.

Part 1 in our 5-part series on Ways to Get your Disaster Recovery Plan Back on Track.

As a  senior project manager at TDS, I have had the good fortune to work with our clients across a variety of industries, to help them address their IT challenges. Our goal – and our methodology – is to accelerate their complex IT projects, streamline the process, and produce a new platform for collaboration and long-term agility.

This is the first post in a series discussing Disaster Recovery (DR) planning, and how I’ve seen TransitionManager, the TDS software solution,  streamline and accelerate Disaster Recovery efforts.

Disaster Recovery plans often end up gathering dust on a shelf because they seem too complicated, and organizations don’t know where to begin. I’ll show you how TransitionManager can be a huge enabler for your DR program. It takes on much of the heavy lifting involved, makes the disaster recovery process more manageable, and changes the landscape to allow greater transparency and participation. The ultimate result is a more cohesive program that can consistently demonstrate its value.

TransitionManager not only benefits Disaster Recovery process; it brings collaboration, transparency, access to accurate data, and improved decision making to other organizational projects and objectives such as architecture governance, application portfolio management, licensing management, and individual application support.

The First Step: Identifying Disaster Recovery Team Responsibilities

The DR team is often made up of resources that have other primary functions and may be responsible for DR part time; if there is a standalone DR group, the members of that organization usually rely heavily on the support of the application teams and architecture teams to achieve their DR objectives. Regardless of the situation, the Disaster Recovery team is typically a lean group.

No matter how lean, members of the DR Team still have a lot of responsibilities, including:

  • Knowing your firms’ applications and their criticality in your organization.
  • Understanding the interrelationships and dependencies between applications.
  • Mapping out a high-level plan to recover applications when an outage occurs.
  • Managing a large data set of application and system information to support disaster planning.
  • Creating detailed DR plans to support recovery.
  • Communicating and keeping this information up to date across multiple organizations.
  • Holding disaster recovery exercises to reliably demonstrate recoverability of the enterprise.

How TransitionManager Assists the Disaster Recovery Team

How does TransitionManager assist and support those responsibilities?

Here are just a few of the tasks that TransitionManager does:


No more spreadsheets! TransitionManager becomes your source of record – available 24/7 to anyone in your organization.
Data review, validation, and updating Whether in a large group setting or as an individual; data review, validation, and updating can be done easily by pulling up TransitionManager to view the data directly.
Communication and validation of the data Once you have collected all the data, do you want to see what the architecture looks like graphically?

Communication and validation of the data you use to support DR can now be done in the tool with the Dependency Analyzer (with the ability to look at all or parts of the data set), and the Architecture Graph section.

Flexibility Do you have non-standard data elements that area unique to your business? TransitionManager can incorporate them.

A recent client put a great deal of weight on its external data connections and their characteristics. TransitionManager was able to easily incorporate this and give it the heightened visibility it needed. Flexibility is one of TM’s strengths.

Dynamic Runbooks Generation of DR runbooks based on the asset rule set of your organization.


Management and Tracking DR exercise management and tracking of runbooks for all participants.


Repository Online repository of DR runbooks.


In part 2, I will talk about getting your relevant Disaster Recovery data loaded into TransitionManager.

Part 2: It’s 10 o’clock, Do you know where your DR plan is? The Data Sources

Part 3: It’s 10 o’clock, Do you know where your DR plan is? Part 3 – Data Viewing

Part 4: It’s 10 o’clock, Do you know where your DR plan is? Part 4 – Using Runbooks for Disaster Recovery


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