ISO 20000-Availability Plan Template

by Maya G

What is the availability plan?

An availability plan is a component of an organization's business continuity plan. It details how the organization will maintain its minimum required service during an interruption.

ISO 20000, ISO 20000 Availability plan template, MS word

The organization's business continuity team typically develops an availability plan with the IT department. It should be reviewed and updated regularly to remain relevant and up to date. The plan should include a detailed account of the steps that will be taken to prepare for, respond to, and recover from an interruption. These steps should include reducing downtimes, such as redundant systems, offsite backups, and automation processes.
Any changes to the availability plan must be communicated to staff members, so they know the process to follow during an interruption. Additionally, the program should be tested at least once a year, as this will help to identify and address potential weaknesses in the system.

Why is an availability plan essential?

An availability plan is essential for several reasons. First, it assures that an organization can maintain its ability to provide services at an agreed-upon level. Typically, it contains an overview of the environment, the components of the service, and the procedures for monitoring and managing availability.
The plan should also include objectives for availability and recovery, response times, and targets. It is vital to have an availability plan so the organization can quickly identify and resolve any issues that may arise. Additionally, it helps keep all team members on the same page and ensures that everyone is aware of the procedures that need to be followed in the event of an incident. An availability plan is critical to maintaining and improving organizational performance. It allows for quick resolution of issues and helps to ensure that service levels are maintained. By having an updated and well-defined plan, organizations can respond to issues more efficiently and help to prevent problems from arising in the future.
An availability plan considers all the factors that can affect the availability of IT services, including:

  • The infrastructure required to support the IT services.
  • The people who are responsible for managing the availability of IT services
  • The processes that are needed to manage the availability of IT services.
  • The tools that are required to support the availability of IT services.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Availability Plan

The Planner is also responsible for ensuring that the availability plan is kept up to date and [that it meets the requirements of the Service Level Agreement (SLA).
The availability plan should address all aspects of service availability, including:

  • Determining the availability requirements of the services
  • Defining the availability targets for the services
  • Identifying the components that make up the service and their contribution to the required service and the necessary service levels.
  • Identifying which processes and activities are required to achieve the availability targets.
  • Defining the roles and responsibilities of those involved in achieving the availability targets.
  • Defining the methods and procedures to achieve the availability targets.
  • Identifying the resources required to achieve the availability targets.
  • Defining the strategies and plans to achieve the availability targets.
  • Defining the metrics and reporting requirements for monitoring and reporting on service availability
  • Establishing the processes to manage changes in service availability requirements.
  • Identifying the potential risks and their potential impacts on service availability targets
  • Defining the measures necessary to reduce and mitigate any service availability risks.
  • Identifying and monitoring the performance of service availability
  • Conducting reviews of the availability plan to ensure its effectiveness.

What is included in the Availability plan?

Steps included in the Availability plan, ISO 20000

1. Service Summary :

To ensure the availability of services, an organization needs to have an availability plan. This plan outlines the actions that need to be taken to maintain service availability. The service summary is one of the most critical aspects of an availability plan, as it outlines the services the program covers.

The service summary should include a description of the service, the required service levels, the targets that need to be met, and the plan for achieving these targets. It is essential to ensure that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of the service summary to ensure the success of the availability plan. In addition to the service summary, organizations should also consider defining a service level agreement (SLA) as part of the availability plan. This document should outline legal expectations between the provider and the customer regarding service availability. The SLA should define the services and availability required and acceptable, as well as the response times and penalties for not meeting those requirements. This document should be updated and regularly reviewed to ensure it meets the organization's needs.

2. IT Service Availability

The plan should identify resources required for implementing and maintaining the IT Service Availability Plan and document regular service reviews and availability. The program should also determine who is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the plan and for responding to service outages. The plan should include a List of IT services, Availability requirements, Allowed downtime in a month, and Promised availability to users in %. In addition, the program should detail incident escalation and communication procedures when required. It should also include a system for tracking and logging service calls and a procedure method listing and reviewing service availability and response times.
Finally, the plan should consider the impact of changes to the IT services, including hardware and software updates, upgrades, and any other alterations to the existing environment. The plans should identify the risks and address methods to mitigate or prevent them.

3. Performance Improvements

The performance improvements availability plan is a crucial requirement of ISO 20000. It provides a framework for identifying, monitoring, and improving the availability of services. The program should be tailored to the organization's needs and reviewed and updated regularly.
The performance improvements availability plan should include the following:

  • A description of the organization's performance improvement process
  • A description of the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the process
  • A list of the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to measure progress
  •  A schedule for review and update of the plan - Guidelines for monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on the performance improvement process
  • A list of available resources, Cost
  • A plan for monitoring and responding to changes in the environment or customer requirements.

4. Improvement schedule :

The standard guides service providers on planning, designing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, and improving their systems and services. In addition, the standard includes requirements for service providers to establish an improvement schedule and an availability plan.
The improvement schedule should list all the actions the service provider plans to take to improve the quality of their services. In addition, the availability plan should specify the levels of availability that the service provider intends to achieve and how they will be measured and reported.
These actions should be linked to the service provider’s objectives and be measurable and achievable. Targets should also be calculated from actual measurements and service data, ensuring that improvements can be tracked, measured, and verified. Service providers should also document the activities and actions taken to achieve the targets and objectives outlined in their service improvement schedule.

5. Technological Opportunities

The Technological Opportunities Availability plan (TOA) can be used to identify, assess and prioritize technological opportunities. It is based on the principle that organizations should have a systematic process to identify and evaluate options. This process should be based on understanding the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, capabilities, and limitations.
The TOA can be used to:

  • Identify technological opportunities that the organization can exploit
  • Assess the risks and benefits associated with each opportunity
  • Prioritize opportunities based on their strategic importance
  • Develop plans to exploit opportunities identified as highly valuable to the organization.

6. Actions to address availability gaps

An organization needs to address any gaps in its availability plan. The first step is to identify the gaps. Once the holes have been placed, the organization must create a plan to address them. This plan should include the steps that need to be taken to fix the problem and how the organization will monitor the results of the actions taken.
Organizations should address any gaps in their availability plan ISO 20000. The first step is to identify the gaps. Once the gaps have been identified, the organization needs to create a plan to address them. This plan should include the steps that need to be taken to fix the problem and how the organization will monitor the results of the actions taken.
Critical Success Factors

  1. The organization's commitment to the process.
  2. The identification of customer needs and requirements.
  3. The development of measurable plans, objectives, and targets.
  4. The identification and management of risks.
  5. The monitoring and review of performance.
  6. The continual improvement of the process.