PlanB Consulting

Business Continuity Exercises

PlanB has vast experience in developing and carrying out exercises. These have ranged from desktop exercises and walkthroughs to full multi-agency exercises.

PlanB has vast experience in developing and carrying out exercises. These have ranged from desktop exercises and walkthroughs to full multi-agency exercises. PlanB also have experience of running exercises to test procedures for the movement of IT and people to Work Area Recovery (WAR) sites.

Charlie has also written the Business Continuity Institute’s Exercising Booklet, a copy can be found Here

The exercises below show a selection of some of the major exercises that have been run by PlanB:

PlanB Consulting’s Charlie Maclean-Bristol and Jennifer MacKenzie carried out a Webinar during Business Continuity Awareness Week 2015, where they discussed the importance of simulating both media and social media during an exercise. The webinar is available below:

TNT “Exercise Piccadilly 2″

Major exercise to develop and further the plan and to train members of the Tactical Team in their role.

Large Two Team Exercise - 'Exercise Abraxis'

PlanB Consulting’s largest exercise to date, envolving both the Strategic and Tactical teams of a large multi-national defence organisation. PlanB unveiled their new Social Simulator MITS for this exercise.

Local Authority Strategic Team Exercise

Carried out an exercise to train a local authority on their new strategic and tactical plan. Involved briefing both teams followed by an exercise involving both teams where the scenario was the loss of the councils headquarters as well as the main data centre housed within the building.

Government Agency Tactical Exercise

PlanB was asked to carry out an exercise for the organisations tactical team. This was the first time many of the participants had taken part in an exercise and they were exercising their newly written Business Continuity Management Plan. In order to enhance the realism of the exercise the following clip was used to ‘set the scene’ for scenario.

Business Continuity Exercise – Gold Dawn

This was a major exercise in 4 parts to test a major utilities recovery strategy.

  • Exercise A involved 130 staff setting up their business recovery teams and responding to a denial of access to the company’s largest building
  • Exercise B was a strategic exercise involving the MD of one of the biggest divisions and the CEO responding to the denial of access
  • Exercise C involved the setting up of the IT and telecoms systems at the recovery centre.
  • Exercise D consisted of bussing 120 staff to the recovery centre, practicing ‘live working’ and taking customer calls to prove that the recovery strategy could be verified.

Exercise Comet

Exercise for a healthcare insurance provider to practice operational teams recovering from loss of their main building. A second exercise was run to practise the strategic team dealing with the same incident.

Exercise Centaur

Multi-agency exercise based on the scenario of a major sewage spill in a residential area in Southend. The exercise involved the Water Company, Environment Agency, Local Authority, Police and the Fire Service. Exercise was based around an ‘on site’ team working from a model of the local area working back to the Local Authority, Police and the Water Company incident rooms.

Water Contamination Exercise

Major exercise involving Bedford Health Authority, Bedfordshire County Council, the CCDC (Consultant in Communicable Disease Control) and Water Company looking at a potential Cryptosparidium contamination of the local water supply.


The book contains 18 exercises each of which can be run in under an hour. The concept being that it is difficult to get people together for a half day exercise, but a lot easier to get them together for an hour. Doing shorter exercises more often, leads to organisations and staff being better prepared for managing an incident than if they were to conduct a longer exercise periodically.
The book contains all the practical instructions for you to run the exercise and includes hands-on information, rather than theory.
The book is not just for business continuity professionals, but is equally relevant for resilience teams, cyber, emergency planning, first responders and community resilience professionals.
The book contains the following:

  • An 8-step process for planning an exercise. This process could be used for planning any exercise.
  • How to run a ‘plan work through’ – this is mentioned a lot, but how to carry it out is never actually written down.
  • How to ‘speed exercise’ – which is an exercise one person can run with up to 40 people, with minimal preparation.
  • There are 18 exercises in total, which cater for all levels, from the strategic/crisis team to people at the sharp end responding directly to an incident.
  • Three of the exercises show you different ways to debrief and exercise, including an explanation on how to conduct a ‘structured debrief’.
  • There is a chapter on writing post-exercise and post-training reports.
  • Information on the role of umpires in exercises.
  • How to choose an exercise scenario and a 20-page list of exercise scenarios you may want to use.
Scroll to Top