I'm John Allspaw, Ask Me Anything about incident analysis and postmortems Edited

John Allspaw I'm New Here Thursday

I'm John Allspaw, co-founder of Adaptive Capacity Labs, where we help teams use their incidents to learn and improve. We bring research-driven methods and approaches to drive effective incident analysis in software-reliant organizations.

Previously, I was Chief Technology Officer at Etsy. I also have a Master’s degree in Human Factors and Systems Safety at Lund University. I’ve worked at various other companies in software systems engineering and operations roles, and authored several books on these topics.

I’ve noticed a gap exists between how we tend to think incidents happen and how they actually happen in reality. Real incidents are messy. And common measurements around incidents tend to generate very little insight about the events, or what directions a team or company might take to make improvements

But with training and guidance, I believe teams can better understand what their incidents are trying to tell them and really take advantage of these important events to shed light on areas critically valuable for the business.

Start submitting questions now below (yes, it says “answers") and tune in Tuesday, December 11th from 11 am to 12 pm PST (2-3pm EST) when I'll be answering questions live.

See you then,



Note from Atlassian: For more on John’s work, check out Adaptive Capacity Labs. To learn how Atlassian manages incidents, check out our incident handbook and Jira Ops.

2 answers

Do you have tips for what happens AFTER the meeting? So often notes are written up from the meeting but after that there is a new situation, another retrospective, and the same lessons (not) learnt.

What tips would you suggest for writing a "good" postmortem "report"? Structure of postmortems is something many companies (in my experience leading ITSM at Symantec and talking to many customers) seem to struggle with e.g. what to include, what really would make a difference?

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