Task scheduling starts with the Task Document Section in Recovery plans and IT Recovery plans. The task sections operate the same way in both plans and are a dynamic content section. Therefore, once you create the task section you then have the ability to add individual tasks to each section. Additionally, multiple task sections can be created. This means you can create a custom task section for each recovery scenario you are planning and then later activate your plans with specific scenarios, thereby allowing your plan owner to only have the necessary tasks available for recovery.
Creating task sections
When you have activated Task Scheduling, your Task Document Sections will now show additional fields within the section and individual task creation pop ups. To start, give the section a title and enter any text that you would like in the content box. The additional text box Scenarios will now appear on the form. Enter the scenario(s) this task section is being designed to address.
As an example, if you have used the Department Recovery Plan template to create your plan and are now building out tasks for the Recovery Strategies, you will be able to assign scenarios to the six task sections as shown below:
- Department Assessment/Evaluation: Scenarios = Loss of Facility, Loss of People, Loss of Technology, Loss of Key Vendor/Supplier
- Recovery Strategy 1 – Loss of Facility: Scenarios = Loss of Facility
- Recovery Strategy 2 – Loss of People: Scenarios = Loss of People
- Recovery Strategy 3 – Loss of Technology: Scenarios = Loss of Technology
- Recovery Strategy 4 – Loss of Key Vendor/Supplier: Scenarios = Loss of Key Vendor/Supplier
- Ongoing Operations: Scenarios = Loss of Facility, Loss of People, Loss of Technology, Loss of Key Vendor/Supplier
After saving the scenarios, the section will appear with a button that says Add Task.
Creating and Scheduling Tasks
Using the template example above, tasks will be already populated for each section. You can edit, delete, or create tasks from this section based on your needs. As you edit and create tasks, make sure each task has a title, a description of the task, and a role assigned for the person responsible. This role is not tied to the Team section, so it is possible to list a different role or individual’s name here if needed. You can also set milestone tasks versus regular tasks to help identify key points in the process.
The individual task forms will now include two new fields: Timing and Duration.
Timing can be set to one of the following options:
- Start Immediately (available only for the first task in the section)
- Start After Previous (available for all tasks but the first in the section)
- Start at Incident Start + X minutes (this displays an additional field X Minutes after Incident Start enter how many minutes after the start of the incident that this should start)
- Start After Other Task (this has you select the “other task” by first selecting the plan, recovery section, and task so that you can schedule an item in Plan X to start when a task in Plan Y has been completed)
The Duration field allows you to set, in minutes, how long the task should take to complete.
If your department’s recovery requires a specific application to start a task, you can use the Start After Other Task option to select the IT Plan for the Application and then select the Verification Procedures section (based on the IT Application Template) and mark the final task as the starting point for the task to begin.
By setting up tasks with accurate durations and scheduling the starting point based on the completion of other tasks, the system will then calculate the critical path for a successful recovery.