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For newly established IT teams, it can be difficult to know what’s next after an incident occurs. So, it is imperative to take a step back and conduct a post-incident review – a structured evaluation of an IT-related incident after its resolution.

Typically, at a post-incident review, teams will analyze the root cause of an incident and the action steps taken toward resolution to facilitate learning and improvement for future incident management.

Key Elements of a Post-Incident Review

 

 

 

Incident Timeline

An incident timeline is crucial for understanding the flow of events and identifying any bottlenecks in the incident response process. These timelines detail the chronological order of events that occurred during an incident, including initial detection, identification, steps taken towards resolution, and the response times.

IT responder writing incident timeline

IT person identifying the root cause of an incident

 

 

 

 

Root Cause Analysis

During the post-incident review, teams should further investigate the root cause of an incident to identify any underlying issues. This will enable teams to prevent this incident from recurring by taking steps toward eradicating the core problem that lead to the incident.

 

 

 

 

Impact Assessment

Teams must evaluate the impact of the incident on their clients, business operations, and reputation. By assessing the extent of the damage on the organization and affected systems, teams can prioritize their recovery efforts and successfully communicate them with stakeholders.

IT team determining the impact of an incident and identifying which systems were affected.

on-call engineer resolving a server incident

 

 

 

 

Response & Recovery

Teams must document the actions that they took to respond and recover from the incident. Response teams should relay the steps they followed to contain and mitigate the incident, and how they restored affected systems. This allows them to further improve the incident management plan by reviewing what went well and where they faced challenges when resolving the issue.

Post-Incident Review Best Practices

Facilitate a Culture of Blamelessness – When conducting post-incident reviews, teams must remain objective and refrain from placing the blame on any one individual or team. This helps ensure a more productive incident review that will encourage teams to collaborate more effectively.

Prioritize Post-Incident Reviews – It is essential to schedule a post-incident review as soon after an incident occurs as possible to prevent future recurrences of similar issues. Additionally, by conducting reviews early, the timeline will be fresh in everyone’s mind, enabling a more accurate post-incident review.

Create a Robust Knowledge Base – All post-incident reviews should be properly documented to ensure that any findings can be referenced in the future for improved collaboration and collective knowledge.

Use Post-Incident Review Findings to Improve Incident Management – When analyzing the incident, the response team should identify any challenges or process bottlenecks they faced while resolving the issue. Then with these findings, teams can make changes to their existing incident management plan to optimize their processes.

 

IT team hosting a post incident review

How OnPage Enhances Post-Incident Reviews

  • Audit Trails
  • Improved Response Times
  • Centralized Messaging Platform
  • Reporting Dashboard

Downloadable Post Incident Review Template:

This post incident review template is the perfect outline for IT teams looking to conduct structured post incident reviews that will significantly enhance their incident response processes. Download now: post-incident review template

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