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SERVICE CONTINUITY (SCON)

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?
1. 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.
2. 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
3. Establish, provide and evaluate service continuity training
4. Verification and Validation of the Service Continuity Plan:
Verification and validation of the service continuity plan should be performed periodically
5. Analysis of Results of Verification and Validation of the Service Continuity Plan

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

SPECIFIC GOALS AND PRACTICES:
A. Identify Essential Service Dependencies
The essential functions and resources on which services depend are identified and
documented.


A.1 Identify and Prioritize Essential Functions
To identify essential functions, an intimate understanding of all service system
operations is required. Essential functions are those functions that must be
sustained in an emergency or significant disruption of services.
The priorities of essential functions should reflect which services can be disrupted
and for what period of time.
Sub-Practices:
1. Identify and prioritize the essential services of the organization.
2. Identify the essential functions on which services rely.
3. Analyze the criticality of providing those functions and the impact to
services if the essential functions cannot be performed.
4. Prioritize the list of essential functions that must be provided despite a
significant disruption.


A.2 Identify and Prioritize Essential Resources
Essential resources are resources necessary to the continued functioning or
reconstitution of services during and after an emergency. These resources are
typically unique and hard to replace. Essential resources therefore include key staff
as well as essential assets, data, and systems. Essential resources may need to be
protected.
Sub-Practices:
1. Identify and document internal and external dependencies.
2. Identify and document key staff and their roles in relation to service
delivery.
3. Identify and document organizational and relevant stakeholder
responsibilities.
4. Identify and document resources required by essential functions to ensure
continuity.
5. Prioritize resources based on an evaluation of impact from their loss or from
lack of access.
6. Ensure that safety provisions are made for staff, both internal and external,
within the delivery environment and for organizational supporting
functions.
7. Ensure that records and databases are protected, accessible, and usable in
an emergency.


B. Prepare for Service Continuity
Preparing for service continuity involves creating a plan, delivering training to
execute the plan, and putting resources into place such as back up sites or systems.

B.1 Establish Service Continuity Plans
A service continuity plan provides explicit guidance to the organization in the event
of a significant disruption to normal operations.
Sub-Practices:
1. Identify and document threats and vulnerabilities to ongoing service
delivery.
2. Document the service continuity plan.
3. Review the service continuity plan with relevant stakeholders
4. Ensure that secure storage and access methods exist for the service
continuity plan and critical information and functions needed to implement
the plan.
5. Ensure that vital data and systems are adequately protected.
6. 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.
7. Plan for returning to normal working conditions.
8. Develop procedures for implementing the service continuity plan.
9. Revise the service continuity plan as necessary.


B.2 Establish Service Continuity Training
Training the staff who will be involved in executing the service continuity increases
the probability of success in the event that the plan must be executed. Training
methods include:
Role playing
Scenario based training
Classroom instruction
Group discussions

Sub-Practices:
1. Develop a strategy for conducting service continuity training.
2. Develop and document service continuity training for each category of
threat and vulnerability to service delivery.
3. Review service continuity training material with relevant stakeholders.
4. Revise the training material as needed to reflect changes in the service
continuity plan and feedback on training effectiveness.

B.3 Provide and Evaluate Service Continuity Training
Training provides instruction to staff who might have to participate in executing
the service continuity plan in the event of a significant disruption. In addition,
training provides a mechanism for gathering feedback on whether the service
continuity plan should be updated or clarified.
Sub-Practices:
1. Deliver training that covers the execution of the service continuity plan to
appropriate staff.
2. Maintain records of those who successfully complete service continuity
training.
3. Solicit feedback on how well service continuity training prepared those who
will execute the service continuity plan.
4. Analyze training feedback and document suggested improvements to the
service continuity plan and service continuity training.


C. Verify and Validate the Service Continuity Plan
Verifying and validating the service continuity plan helps to ensure preparedness
for various threats and vulnerabilities before a significant disruption occurs.
Verification methods include the following:
Inspections
Peer reviews
Audits
Walkthroughs
Analyses
Simulations
Testing
Demonstrations

C.1 Prepare for the Verification and Validation of the SCON plan
Verification and validation of the service continuity plan is performed periodically,
the service continuity plan should be reviewed or tested to confirm the service
continuity plan is still correct and current.
Sub-Practices:
1. Develop a plan for conducting service continuity verification and validation.
2. Review with relevant stakeholders the verification and validation plan,
including evaluation methods.
3. Determine the procedures and criteria for verification and validation of the
service continuity plan.
4. Identify changes to the service continuity plan from the preparation for
verification and validation.

C.2 Verify and Validate the Service Continuity Plan
Verification and validation is conducted according to the defined plan, methods,
and procedures to confirm that the service continuity plan is complete, reasonable, and
effective.
Sub-Practices:
1. Prepare the environment to conduct verification and validation.
2. Conduct verification and validation of the service continuity plan.
3. Record the results of verification and validation activities.

C.3 Analyze Results of Verification and Validation of the SCON plan
Results of service continuity plan verification and validation are analyzed against
defined verification and validation criteria. Analyse report, identify problems with
verification and validation methods, environments, procedures, and criteria.
Sub-Practices:
1. Compare actual to expected results of service continuity plan verification and
validation.
2. Evaluate whether restoration to agreed service levels or some other planned
state was achieved or not.
3. Document recommendations for improving the service continuity plan.
4. Document recommended improvements to the verification and validation of
the service continuity plan.
5. Collect improvement proposals for services or service system components as
appropriate based on the analyses of results.
6. Provide information on how defects can be resolved (including verification
methods, criteria, and the verification environment) and initiate corrective
action.