Top 5 lessons learned from credit union tabletop exercises

by. Michele Dowls

After every credit union tabletop exercise or disaster recovery exercise (and especially live events!),  reflect on what went well and where challenges occurred. We’ve compiled the top 5 lessons learned gathered from some debriefs with clients after a tabletop and want to share it with you. Take a moment to see if you’ve heard these statements before. What can you do to improve next time?

#5 Communication – No matter how much communication planning is in place, there is never enough. Many staff often feel left out of communications regarding decisions and/or the logic behind decisions (opening or closing a branch for instance). Engage staff at all opportunities to ensure transparency and understanding.

#4 More involvement with departments and others at CU  – Often during an exercise,  some participants note being “bored” as they didn’t have much to do. This is often the result of tabletops being “crisis” focused and engaging in decision making by only the crisis management team (CMT) or emergency responders. The ones who are not actively engaged in the scenario are perfect to have them report to a Resource Pool for assignments to help where needed! As the managers in charge, don’t forget about all of the resources you have. It takes an entire team to run your business day to day as well as during an Event.

#3 Familiarity and use of Business Continuity Plan/Site – Even if you have a plan, it doesn’t mean that everyone is familiar with it. Sometimes its a communications problem or awareness. If you have an online DR/BCP program, employees need to spend more time accessing and becoming familiar with the content. For those that use a site, during a crisis is NOT a good time to realize you don’t remember your password. Password resets can be very time consuming.


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