DR test? It's not a test, it's an exercise
My colleague in DR advised me that I'm using the wrong word when talking about DR, and that this betrays something of my thinking, and of the thinking of people I describe in my post "How to pass a Disaster Recovery test"
It's not a test, he tells me. As is usual when I'm corrected, I bristle, but I listen.
Using the term "test" leads people immediately to thinking of scores, and of pass / fail mentality.
Consider, as a replacement, the term "exercise". Remember the old joke, "how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice!" [I said it was old, I didn't say it was funny].
Key here is the concept that an exercise is practice for "the main event". In DR's case, the main event is some catastrophic loss of business function - your headquarters gets cratered by a tornado or an earthquake, or the propane tank blows up. Maybe you just have a power outage in your data centre, and the exercise is to ensure that you know how to ensure that your generator starts up, supplies power, and is monitored for fuel consumption until the electric comes back.
When you think of a DR exercise, as opposed to a test, you realise that this is as much about training your staff, and exercising your recovery drills, as it is about knowing which areas you need to revisit in assessment, analysis and documentation. And then nobody asks about whether you passed or failed.
You can even talk about your DR exercise as an unqualified success - without having to qualify anything.