Besides identifying all possibilities, the list must also include recommended solutions of steps to recover. In some instances, the possible solutions may be many, each more appropriate than the others under specific circumstances. Rather than listing all possible solutions for a single failure scenario at macro level, list all possible solution to cater to that specific failure. In other words, rather than just provide a broad outline of the recovery scenario and leave the administrative personnel at the scene to figure out which one to use, mention just one best solution for a specific form of failure to eliminate guess work. If such guess work cannot be totally eliminated in your environment, try to eliminate as much as possible. That should be the primary objective of such a list. Guess work is not bad in itself; however, due to intense pressure on administrative personnel during outages, it is easy to make the wrong decision and potentially increase the outage duration by causing more problems.
At times, as it observed during database crashes, the in-house personnel pick up the manual and attempt recovery without taking sufficient time to analyze the scenario and assess the damage. They perform recovery or make changes without prior backups to revert to, in case their attempt to restore normalcy, what kind of expertise they would have, what kind of damage analysis they would perform, what kind of guesses they would make regarding the cause and effect of the failure, and what steps they would take to restore normalcy. Accordingly, it is highly recommended to include the best possible course of action to take during each failure scenario. IF the course of action is too comprehensive to list in the narrow space provided, you may place references to other documents, where detailed instructions are available, the sample emergency list that follows gives examples of listing the actual steps in some cases and references to other in-house documentation and third party books and manuals for other cases, which may be more complicated.
Listing properly every failure scenario with recovery test cases is very important for every organization. This scenario is practical and cut time of emergency risks and man power. For instance, if emergency documentation is properly maintained in your company and database crashed when DBA is on vacation then your in-house personnel can able to handle this scenario without wasting time and with low risk factors.
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