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From Metrics to Valuable Insights: Incident Post-Mortem Reports

post-mortem reports

IT organizations, such as managed service providers (MSPs), deploy incident alerting and on-call management solutions to accelerate software delivery and ensure seamless customer experiences. Incident alert management platforms orchestrate the distribution of alerts to ensure that technicians continue to maintain system uptime and minimize service disruptions.

Key features of a solid incident alert management platform include:

  • Secure mobile messaging and alerting
  • Digital on-call schedules
  • Time-stamped message statuses
  • Automated alert escalations
  • Post-mortem reports
  • Integrations with existing technology stacks

The platform’s synergistic interaction streamlines incident management workflows and minimizes mean time to response (MTTR) for incident responders.

Incident management doesn’t end at resolution and recovery. Post-incident root cause analysis and post-mortem reports uncover potential points of failure, allowing teams to prevent similar incidents in the future. In this post, we’ll introduce incident alert management solutions and explore how teams can gain data-driven insights from the platforms.

Defining Incident Alert Management Platforms

Incident alert management or IT service alerting (ITSA) platforms facilitate alert orchestration when urgent events are detected. ITSA systems parse incidents and notifications from multiple sources, and they distribute alerts to the right people based on alerting policies and on-call schedules.

Gartner defines ITSA tools as solutions that automate the notification process to ensure that the right engineers are immediately notified of critical IT events. Incident alerts can be delivered through many channels, such as SMS, push notifications, voicemails and phone calls.

ITSA solutions have helped organizations simplify incident management and relieve stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. ITSA accelerates the shift toward a digital-first model during COVID by providing engineers with a reliable, fast way to resolve incidents in times of crisis.

IT organizations that use ITSA platforms can:

  • Consolidate all alerts on a single platform
  • Automate incident alerting
  • Encrypt team communications for extra security
  • Reduce alert noise to boost employee morale
  • Respond to issues before they impact clients
  • Minimize the financial impact of downtime
  • Assign equitable on-call workloads
  • Reduce human errors

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Turning Data-Driven Insights Into a Disruptive Force

Team managers can access detailed incident reports via an ITSA system’s web management console. For instance, OnPage, a leading ITSA solution, gives managers access to multiple customizable, downloadable reports under a single pane of glass (SPOG).

Managers can view post-mortem and incident reports, such as those provided by OnPage, to detect vulnerabilities in systems and mitigate the issues for future events. Simply put, post-mortem reports give managers the ability to assess incidents and determine what response processes can be improved. Managers can also use the reports to access data visualizations and summaries to improve the effectiveness of their IT on-call teams.

Altogether, administrators can use incident post-mortem reports to:

  • Examine on-call workloads
  • Create incident notes to transcribe what occurred
  • Download data for record keeping
  • Create an equitable on-call workforce
  • Improve incident response time
  • Examine an incident and its accompanying response

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Perfecting the Art of Incident Reporting

When choosing an incident alert management platform, IT leaders must focus on tools that offer detailed post-mortem reports. Alert management platforms that don’t offer post-incident analysis do more harm than good, as they act as a safe harbor for poor incident response practices.

To make the best of post-mortem reports, IT management leaders must:

1. Perform a post-incident analysis after the event

Trying to recall what transpired during an incident is challenging and leaves room for inadvertent mistakes. Alerting systems must digitize the entire record-keeping process for effective post-incident analysis.

2. Create an incident timeline

With incident reporting capabilities, leaders can gain full visibility into the life cycle of an incident. This analysis reveals read and reply to statuses, delivery time stamps and failed message deliveries. Leaders can use the information to determine the cause of missed alerts and conduct a gap analysis to enhance the responsiveness of IT on-call teams.

3. Generate a final record

Leaders must keep a digital record of everything that transpired during a critical event. These digital records can be used as a reference to train future response team members. This information can also be presented to current on-call responders to learn from the incident resolution experience.

Adopting a Robust Incident Alert Management Platform

An effective alert management platform takes the guesswork out of decision-making with increased visibility into an IT team’s incident response performance. Leaders can use the ITSA system’s reporting console for evidence-based data that helps teams manage incident alerts effectively.

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