Mission Continuity Resources and Tools: Table Top Exercise

Document Format
Letter To The Deans
TTX Guidelines 7-2014
Observer Information Form
Post-exercise TTX Report
Guidelines for Reporting

The Mission Continuity Program (MCP) is sponsoring a University-wide tabletop exercise (TTX) initiative. All University organizations will use the same event as the basis for their TTX. This will test an organization’s ability to plan, respond and recover in the event of an outage or disruption. The Provost and Executive Vice President have asked that all Schools and Centers within the University participate in this initiative.

PLAN:

Penn’s university-wide tabletop exercise will take place between August 15 and December 19, 2014. Participants will role-play a fictional disaster scenario as if it was happening in real time on campus.

Each School and Center is strongly encouraged to review their Mission Continuity plans stored in Shadow Planner, and update them where appropriate. Participants should refresh themselves on these plans and individual roles to best prepare and expect the unexpected.

Schools and Centers are encouraged to assign individual participants to observe and chronicle the exercise. This will allow organizations to obtain feedback about the exercise and their plans.

Mission Continuity facilitators are available to assist in conducting the exercise. Please e-mail askmc@lists.upenn.edu to schedule your tabletop.

RESPOND:

This exercise will test the planning that is in place, human decision-making, teamwork, and infrastructure flexibility. Participants will be challenged to recall and follow existing mission continuity plans, making adjustments decisively as circumstances warrant.

The ultimate goal of the exercise will be to ensure the University may continue and maintain operations in the support and delivery of our mission.

RECOVER:

Each School or Center will produce a post-exercise report that will contain valuable information about lessons learned and next steps. These reports should serve as both a narrative of the experience and a forward-looking document to guide your team and the University in future planning.

These individual reports will also serve as the basis for a university-wide report prepared by the MCP Steering Group to be presented to the Provost and Executive Vice President.

LOGISTICS:

  1. The MCP is providing a scenario for the TTX. It is a fictitious event, and all University organizations will use the same event as the basis for their TTX. The scenario will allow for activation of several different types of plans (loss of building, technology, human resources, etc.)
  2. A professional facilitator will be available for most TTXs. If one is not available, we will train someone on your team or provide someone from our group. The scenario for the fictitious event will be provided to the facilitator and to the MCP representative shortly before the TTX is scheduled to occur.
  3. Organizations may request that an observer attend the TTX, to provide feedback on the exercise and the plans.
  4. Representatives have been asked to complete a short post-exercise report and return it to the MCP leadership, to discuss how the experience was for them and their organization.
  5. There will be a sign-up calendar available soon, so organizations may schedule their TTXs. The deadline for completing your TTX is December 19, 2014.
  6. A packet of information is available for your use in conducting a TTX. It includes:
    1. set of guidelines or drillbook
    2. a form to be filled out by observers who attend
    3. a template for a post-exercise report

Beginning with the August 28th User Group meeting, the TTX initiative will be discussed at the monthly user group meetings. MCP representatives and MCP liaisons are welcome to attend to gain more information and to ask questions.

Members of the MCP program leadership are happy to meet with MCP liaisons or representatives, speak on the phone, or answer e-mails, with questions about this exercise.