The purpose of Service Continuity (SCON) is to establish and maintain plans to ensure continuity of services during and following any significant disruption of normal operations.
How to implement Service Continuity (SCON) as per CMMI
Identification and Prioritization of Essential Resources
Work Manager shall identify and document the internal and external functions, resources, dependencies and stakeholders on which these services depend.
Essential functions can include manual processes, automated processes, end-user activities, and service delivery activities themselves whether pre-scheduled or a result of on-the-fly service request management.
Identify and document key staff and their roles in relation to service delivery. Prioritize resources based on an evaluation of impact from their loss or from lack of access. Ensure that safety provisions are made for staff, both internal and external, within the delivery environment and for organizational supporting functions. Ensure that records and databases are protected, accessible, and usable in an emergency.
Work Manager shall document the business impact analysis, with the following:
- Identification and prioritization of the essential services and resources of the organization.
- Identification of the essential functions and resources on which services rely.
- Analysis of the criticality of providing those functions and the impact to services if the essential functions cannot be performed.
- Prioritization of the list of essential functions that must be provided despite a significant disruption.
Establishing Service Continuity Plans
A service continuity plan provides explicit guidance to the organization in the event of a significant disruption to normal operations. Multiple plans covering different types of disruptions or different types of services can be maintained. Conversely, there may be need for only one service continuity plan.
- Identify and document threats and vulnerabilities to ongoing service delivery (ies).
- Document the service continuity plan.
- Review the service continuity plan with relevant stakeholders.
- Ensure that secure storage and access methods exist for the service continuity plan and critical information and functions needed to implement the plan.
- Ensure that vital data and systems are adequately protected.
- Document the acceptable service level agreed to by the customer for when a shift between the normal delivery environment and the recovery environment (e.g., site affected by disruption, alternate site) is necessary.
- Plan for returning to normal working conditions.
- Develop procedures for implementing the service continuity plan.
- Revise the service continuity plan as necessary.
Establish, provide and evaluate service continuity training
For Service Continuity training, Work Manager shall:
- Develop a Training Plan for conducting service continuity training.
- Develop and document service continuity training for each category of threat and vulnerability to service delivery.
- Review service continuity training material with relevant stakeholders.
- Revise the training material as needed to reflect changes in the service continuity plan and feedback on training effectiveness.
Training should be provided to staff that might have to participate in executing the service continuity plan in the event of a significant disruption.
While providing Training for the Service Continuity, Work Manager shall focus on the following activities:
- Deliver training that covers the execution of the service continuity plan to appropriate staff.
- Maintain records of those who successfully complete service continuity training.
- Solicit feedback on how well service continuity training prepared those who will execute the service continuity plan.
- Analyze training feedback and document suggested improvements to the service continuity plan and service continuity training.
Verification and Validation of the Service Continuity Plan
Verification and validation of the service continuity plan should be performed periodically (e.g., annually). However, when major changes are made to the service system or to the delivery environment, the service continuity plan should be reviewed or tested to confirm the service continuity plan is still correct and current.
Service Continuity Plan shall be documented with details of the verification and validation required for the plan. Work Manager shall identify the activities for verification and validation, strategy, procedure and criteria, environment, resources, schedule for the same.
Verification and validation procedure and criteria shall be reviewed and approved by the relevant stakeholders.
Work Manager shall prepare for the Verification and Validation of the Service Continuity Plan.
Verification and validation should be conducted according to the defined plan, methods, and procedures, in the planned environment to confirm that the service continuity plan is complete, reasonable, and effective. Results of the verification and validation activities should be recorded.
Analysis of Results of Verification and Validation of the Service Continuity Plan
Work Manager shall analyze the results of service continuity plan verification and validation against defined verification and validation criteria and shall prepare an analysis report containing comparison of expected results and actual results, evaluation of agreed service levels or some other planned state was achieved or not, areas for improvement and corrective action plan.
- Business Impact Analysis Report
- Directory of Critical Staff
- List of Prioritized Essential Functions
- Service Continuity Plan
Source: CMMI-SVC Model, CMMI Institute. Interpretation by the author
Benefits of Service Continuity (SCON) in the organization
Service Continuity (SCON) when conducted in the organization has following benefits:
- Helps in the continuity of services during disruption
- Increases customer confidence in your services and organization
- Lets you identify important services, functions and resources in the organization
- Better control over new services development by proper planning
- Helps in defining the description and properties of services
Want implementation guidance for Service Continuity (SCON) in your organization
We provide training for internal staff including Senior Management in the preparation for disaster management through Service Continuity Planning. Training includes topic like identifying critical services, functions and resources, and then planning for Service Continuity, verifying and validating the plan, providing training to relevant stakeholders, important points to remember while restoring the services etc.
Training is delivered through highly qualified and experienced CMMI Authorised Trainer and CMMI Consultants.