When an IT incident occurs, it can take an enormous amount of cross-functional collaboration to resolve it. Restoring service to optimal working order is, of course, paramount, but the communication piece of things is almost as important. With so many people involved and so many variables, there’s a lot that can go wrong in the process of setting things right. Having the right tools for the job can make all the difference.
Having the right tools for the job—ones to track and manage the incident, collaborate on a resolution, document actions taken and observed results, and automate communication—can make a big difference in how efficiently and effectively the incident is resolved. If those tools are deeply integrated both with each other, as well as with essential and commonly used third-party tools like Slack and Zoom, then ever better. If you think that sounds an awful lot like the Atlassian toolset, well...you're not wrong.
Here are 5 Atlassian tools that can simplify incident management, so you and your team can focus on resolving the issue at hand...
Like its name suggests, Opsgenie is pretty genius. You can integrate Opsgenie with more than 200 other apps and web services, including monitoring tools like Amazon CloudWatch and Datadog, and custom-built tools. When Opsgenie receives an alert from one of these systems, it categorizes it based on importance and timing, and contacts the right people based on your customized on-call schedules. If it doesn’t get a response, it automatically escalates the alert. Opsgenie can also automatically post information to third-party tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams to keep people updated.
After an incident has occurred, Statuspage makes it easy to proactively communicate with users in real time. When you post high-level information about an incident on your service desk portal, you can connect it to a Statuspage page with more detail, so anyone accessing the portal can find out what’s going on. You can also push that information to users via text message or email. This sort of open communication and transparency is an altogether better customer experience, plus it cuts way down on the number of support tickets that typically come in during an incident.
Jira Service Desk
If you’re using Jira Service Desk as your help desk portal solution, you can use the banner area or announcement feature to post information and updates about the incident. Then, as I explained above, you can link that banner and/or announcement to Statuspage where users can get more information. You can also group all the incoming tickets about the incident to each other and to a related Jira project using the Jira Issue ID. Jira Service Desk also comes with a built-in, ITIL-compliant incident workflow, but it can also be customized to your specific needs.
As soon as the incident occurs, we recommend opening a Jira issue and tracking it there. That Jira Issue ID can then be added to all the communications about the incident so internal stakeholders can easily get more information. When the issue is first opened, use the appropriate fields to fill out the high-level details about what’s happening and the severity of the situation. That way, as soon as the incident manager checks in, they can start assessing the situation. You can also use fields to link to other critical communications channels like a Slack chat room, a Zoom video chat, and a Confluence page. Atlassian, for their part, recommends a simple workflow like Pending > Fixing > Resolved. By tracking all incidents in the same way, over time, you’ll develop a lot of consistent data to learn from.
Every incident demands a single source of truth, and Confluence is absolutely the right tool for that job. It’s a great place to document the incident in detail, including observations regarding what is happening, the severity of the incident, and the number of users impacted. It’s also where you should document hypotheses about the cause, steps being taken to resolve it, observed outcomes of each action taken, and even how to reverse the changes, should that be necessary. Once the incident is resolved, all that documentation will come in handy for the post-mortem review. And, in fact, the port mortem report can be published and shared in Confluence.
Interested in learning more about Atlassian tools and incident management? Check out Your One-Stop Guide to Incident Management Using Atlassian Tools.