login


Google Sign inLinkedIn Sign in

Don't have an account? 

Foster Less Stress and More Strength in the Face of Risk Mitigation

Conflict solving
Delegate
Health / Stress / Burn-Out
Collaboration
Team processes

21 November, 2018

Didier shares his hands-on, team-based, and proactive approach to risk-management!

Problem

More and more often with startup companies, incident management doesn't exist or is very minimal. The result is almost always the same: people operate in varying ways and neglect to mitigate the risk as soon as possible. To draw a quick and, I'm pretty sure, a common experience: on my team, we faced a big issue with reputation or revenue risk. People worked without any guidance or pragmatism; and we ended up losing time and fostering a stressful environment. As team lead, I was looking at different processes and organization for incident management. The following is my current process.

Actions taken

To reduce the risk, I enlist someone from my team to serve as Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) and Incident Commander. This is a person dedicated to managing incidents over the period of one day. This role rotates from person to person daily. Rotations can be organized via calendar or Slack with a bot. Each day at 9:00am, a new MRO person is designated. They must check if any incidents occurred during the night or throughout that day (tickets or new emails, slack channels like MRO, Interrupt, Incident Room or SRE). They don't work on sprint tickets or projects during this day. They firstly treat alerts and incidents, and then the user questions on Slack or by email. Of course, automated alerts should be the highest priority. At the end of the day, they handover to a remote colleague. It is also important to note that the MRO people can be on duty throughout night. In this case, you should avoid assigning MRO until the next day. Additionally, the Incident Commander is the person responsible to manage the team during an emergency incident. This role requires a management aspect and also technical skills to follow and propose ideas to mitigate. They often make the incident communication and synchronization efforts. They should not be performing any actions or remediations, checking graphs or investigating logs - those tasks must be delegated to experts in their field.

Lessons learned

If you put in place a form of incident management proactively, you will probably see people are less stressed and sometimes happy to manage an issue. I always keep in mind: with less stress and more strength to face an issue, you are faster to mitigate.


Related stories

Improving Collaboration Between Engineering and Product Across Time Zones
6 July

Shridharan Muthu, VP of Engineering at Zoosk, describes how to make communication effective between PMs and engineers when they are located in different time zones and have very little overlap.

Collaboration
Internal Communication
Reorganization
Remote
Shridharan Muthu

Shridharan Muthu

VP of Engineering, Backend Applications at Zoosk

Handling a Mistake - Adopting a New Workflow
6 July

Shridharan Muthu, VP of Engineering at Zoosk, describes how he quickly agreed to adopt new workflows, a mistake he later regretted, and how he handled the situation by spending the time to course correct and taking a stab at making things easier for his team.

Team processes
Agile / Scrum
Collaboration
Shridharan Muthu

Shridharan Muthu

VP of Engineering, Backend Applications at Zoosk

Cultivating a Relationship Between Collocated and Remote Teams
3 July

Arjun Rao, Director of Engineering at Place Exchange, highlights three ways that induce a genial, positive, and flourishing atmosphere between collocated teams and their remote, contracted, or outsourced counterparts.

Remote
Collaboration
Company Culture
Arjun Rao

Arjun Rao

Director of Engineering at Place Exchange

Some Ideas for Breaking Down Silos In Your Organization
30 June

Jeff Foster, Head of Product Engineering, shares how he managed to break down silos in his organization by encouraging their employees to choose their own team.

Team reaction
Managing Expectations
Company Culture
Internal Communication
Collaboration
Productivity
Reorganization
Jeff Foster

Jeff Foster

Head of Product Engineering at Redgate

Recruitment and Interview Rotas: the Engineers’ Way
30 June

Jeff Foster, Head of Product Engineering, explains how engineers at his organization self-managed their taking part in the interviewing process.

Hiring
Collaboration
Jeff Foster

Jeff Foster

Head of Product Engineering at Redgate

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.