Incident Response: How to enhance collaboration during an incident

by Nov 23, 2017 Bahadır Tolga Özgentürk

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Let’s face it, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably a part of an IT team or familiar with the concept of an Incident. They define the “uncertainty” dimension in your company, and its reputation is determined by how you manage those times of uncertainty. Incidents are the nightmare of the DevOps crew who manages them, and just a state of disappointment for the customer who’s on the receiving end of your service. During a major incident, communicating the misfortune between security experts and corporate stakeholders gains further significance. To manage these times of uncertainty, you must rely upon fail-proof systems which are able to effectively deliver communication between multiple stakeholders. Thus, while the experts are working to resolve the issue, your corporate communication teams must deliver the correct message so that the public opinion is shaped by the disaster response efforts. It’s the difference between letting the public know that the flight is in turbulence instead of a nosedive. A company’s response to a crisis is not a mere coincidence, but a reflection of the efforts taken to mitigate the possibility of a collapse.

Notify All Responders

With OpsGenie’s Incident Response Orchestration platform, the chaos is simply reduced to being a case of “business as usual”. Whenever an incident arises, deploying OpsGenie’s Core Responder Team allows you to notify your response crew (and other possible contributor teams) to receive alerts as the progress unfolds. The initial response time and engagement of the correct experts is the first of of many steps to tame the beast. If you have an identified group of responders when hell breaks loose, the resolution just becomes a matter of execution.

Bring Teams Together via Conference Bridge, Chat Tools

To help you further gain control of the chaos, Conference Bridge allows you to collaborate with the necessary contributors across your company for that particular event. You gain the ability to invite any relevant parties who may contribute to the discussion of the solution. It prevents the use of any other third party chat tools when the incident is alive and lurking behind the scenes. If desired, it also accommodates easily with the favorite chat tools on the market such as Slack, HipChat, and Microsoft Teams. Having such a lean corporate communication method  allows your team to share the responsibility and prevent future wildfires.  

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Keep the Stakeholders Informed

Once the incident is under control, it becomes vital to renew the community trust by letting the Stakeholders know about the situation. You can spread the message across your organization and to customers with the Status Updates and Mass Notification options. Public opinion unfolds as incidents are being handled, sending updates allows you to prevent possible decay of your company’s reputation. With Status Updates, experience the relief of sending periodic updates about the incremental progress and keeping the community in the loop.

Post-Mortem without Regrets

Next time you face a post-mortem phase, be wary of the methods you use to contain the occasion. Mismanagement of a single incident is a path that can manifest into more disappointments. Managing a system failure is a surgical event because it involves a human dimension, and if handled poorly, it may lead to breakdown of operations within your organization. 

Next time, allow the Genie to perform its magic. After all, incidents happen, it’s how you respond that matters. 

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