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4 best practices to make sure you manage incidents effectively

It’s impossible to predict all issues that may occur during the software development process. However, we can prepare the teams with some universal pieces of advice. Atlassian came up with the values that guide the teams on how they can approach incidents to identify, resolve, and finally learn from them. We believe there’s something in them for all of us.

1. Know about incidents before your customers 

If the team is able to spot a service interruption before the clients, it will save lots of time for the support team agents. What’s more, protecting users from incidents will surely get a company some trust points. This is why it’s a good idea to monitor service functionalities regularly. The smart way of doing it is to set up alerts that can automatically inform the team once anything goes wrong.

2. React quickly and communicate

When customers let the team know that the service is down, the best we can do is focus on minimizing the impact and fixing it as soon as possible. Incidents will always be a part of software services. There’s no point in wasting time blaming a client or an employee. Customers will appreciate our work if we know how to make the interruptions go away. We can build users’ trust by letting them know about both scheduled and unplanned downtime. Making your clients and employees informed about what’s going on will surely pay off. 

3. Find the root cause 

A quick ad hoc reparation of an incident often is not enough. After the incident happens, the team should identify its root cause and implement changes that will fix it. Taking care of the broader problem will also prevent similar, related incidents from occurring. A more global approach can turn out to be prevention and an overall improvement of service at once. Remember that establishing a strong, logical incident management process is crucial to quickly reducing the impact and restoring services.

4. Learn from your mistakes

Gain the trust of your clients back by not letting the same incidents happen again. Always look for the bigger picture as it will protect you from repeating errors. The best idea is to create an incident management playbook. Plan your incident response strategy in advance. And we’re not only talking about technical issues. If there were communication problems during the improvements – draw your conclusions from this too. However trivial it sounds, use incidents to make your service better. 


If you'd like to discover how to use Jira Service Management for efficient incident management processes, read the first part of the article on the Atlassian Community. 



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