Mission Continuity Resources and Tools: Table Top Exercise

Conducting a TTX
Letter To The Deans
TTX Guidelines
Observer Information Form
Observer Information Form (Word Version)
Guidelines for BCP Reporting
Guidelines for BIA Reporting
Communications Plan
Planning timeline for TTX 2018
Information Security Liaisons Program
Technology FAQ for TTX slides
Disaster Recovery (DR) Planning Guidelines
Post-excercise report template FY2018-19

The Mission Continuity Program (MCP) sponsors a University-wide tabletop exercise (TTX) annually. All University organizations use the same event scenario as the basis for their TTX. The goal is to test an organization’s ability to plan, respond and recover in the event of an outage or disruption in order to continue operations and uphold the core mission of the University. The Provost and Executive Vice President have asked that all Schools and Centers within the University participate in conducting a tabletop exercise.

It's time to schedule your FY2019 tabletop exercise. Please e-mail Rae Goodman at hallgood@upenn.edu as soon as possible to schedule your organization’s exercise between October 1 and December 19, 2018. Here are the slides for this year's exercise scenario.


Each School and Center is strongly encouraged to review their Mission Continuity BCP plans and BIA information stored in Shadow-Planner and update them where appropriate.  It is especially important with this year’s test to make sure your Disaster Recovery (DR) plans within the BCP module are up to date as it will be linked to your BIA module to be tested.  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 external experts will facilitate the exercise and other central university representatives will be present to assist and answer questions that may arise.


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.

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


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.


  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 BCP plans (loss of building, technology, human resources, etc.) and of the BIA.
  2. A facilitator will be available for the TTXs, as well as representatives from some central University units. The scenario will be provided to the facilitator and the participants.
  3. By September 10, 2018, submit to askmc@lists.upenn.edu a rank ordered list of the 2-4 most critical IT systems for your organization, using this form.
  4. Organizations may request that an observer attend the TTX, to provide feedback on the exercise and the plans.
  5. TTX organizers 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.
  6. You may now schedule your TTX by e-mailing Rae Goodman at hallgood@upenn.edu. You may choose either a morning slot (9:30 – 11 am) or an afternoon slot (1:30 – 3 pm)
  7. Information is available for your use in conducting a TTX in the upper part of this page. It includes:
    1. guidelines for conducting a tabletop exercise
    2. a form to be filled out by any observers who attend
    3. a template for a post-exercise report (FY2019 template forthcoming)

The TTX initiative will be discussed at the planner group meetings. School and Center staff are encouraged and welcome to attend to gain more information and to ask questions.

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