2019/07/23

“The art of using duct tape in the IT “

Security | Reading time - 3 min

Let us talk about Incident Management in a nutshell:

Things break and that´s a fact.

If your notebook screen turns black, you might get a short panic attack. Hopefully the application you were working on had an auto save feature… and if not get another coffee and consult your helpdesk, if it happens at work.

But what if the important things break? What if your infrastructure has an outage and you start to lose money, reputation and potentially customers as well?

The Incident Management:

In this case, it is good if you can rely on a well-staffed and trained incident management team. As the SPOC – Single Point Of Contact the IM acts as the interface between IT, business, customers and the management. Our Incident Management team is well known and respected throughout the complete company.
It acts really as a 24/7/365 SPOC and is the first to know. Either if incidents are reported manually, or if they are triggered by our alarming.

We distinguish between the standard incidents and the major once. The last ones are those that can harm our company and need immediate attention.
A well-established Incident Management has a significant impact on the length of the service outage.
The purpose is not a sustainable problem solution (That is the objective of the Problem Management). Our goal is: Recover our critical services as fast possible.

When the major incident happens, we gather in our “war room “and solve it with structure and organization. There is no “I do not have time for it, it will ruin my sprint goals“, as everybody works towards the same goal. A running operation comes first!

What are the issues?

Many organizations save the money for an own team. In some cases, this might run well until the first real damage happens. Suddenly fingers are pointed, questions are raised and groups of technicians run around with the best intentions to fix things.

A clear contact is missing and information rarely reaches the right people in time. At the front end business is trying to work and might not be aware of the issues in the “engine room “.
In many cases, the documentation and contact lists are outdated and create more confusion, then solutions.

Incident Management is not a disturbance that wants to prevent people from working. It is the opposite, because it helps to focus on the right things now. IM takes over communication and estimation of business impact.

Those organizations missing their own incident management forget that a smoothly running operation is top priority and crucial for a company’s success.

The five + one factors for success:

1) Have somebody doing it. You do not have to start with a team, but have somebody, that takes the role of the Incident Manager.
2) Assign a “ war room “ for critical issues. You can resolve incidents much faster with everybody in one place.
3) Create awareness through your organization. Make sure everybody knows where to go.
4) Inform the right people at the right time. Things can break, but be sure, the people who use them are aware of it.
5) Train incidents, have documentation and contact lists. Be prepared and ready!

And for the +1: Always have the number of the pizza delivery close by, for the long worst cases, that hopefully will never happen…

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