I led a workshop at USENIX LISA 2013 in Washington, DC: The Practical Gamemaster: Hands-On Design and Execution of IT Emergency Operations Drills
Within a broad context of emergency response, emergency operations, business continuity planning/resiliency, disaster recovery, and information technology architecture, this workshop will provide participants with hands-on experience to design and execute IT emergency drills.
Participants will collaboratively identify critical business functions and continuity/resiliency objectives for a fictional organization, and catalog IT services involved in supporting those business functions. We will then design an emergency operations center or incident headquarters for that fictional organization. Along the way, we will discuss and brainstorm methods of introducing such concepts to participants’ actual organizations.
During the latter part of this workshop, participants will split into groups to accomplish first a basic life-safety and IT emergency operations drill, and then an advanced IT emergency operations drill. As workshop participants execute each of these drill plans, we will evaluate quantifiable success factors of each drill, collect lessons learned, and discuss guru-level additions to advanced drill design.
Keeping IT folks engaged in a drill simulation can be very challenging. The skills necessary to design, execute, and facilitate IT emergency drills are practical, perfectly suited to the hands-on, participatory environment of a technical workshop.
Become a gamemaster worthy of designing and executing drills on likely emergency scenarios and realistic function failures for your organization. You are hereby summoned to actively (with good humor) learn to engage your team in emergency operations planning and drill facilitation! Hard hats and D10’s included.
(I did not actually bring hard hats to this workshop; they would not fit into my suitcase.)