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Blogs· 5min April 5, 2023
David Macarthur gives us a peek into his life as an Incident Manager at Form3. He explains what incident management is, how to effectively prepare for incidents and the role of incident managers when incidents do occur. Investing in good Incident Management is essential to operating a good business and David shares his thoughts on how to do just that.
My name is David Macarthur and I've been in Service Delivery for most of my working life. Specifically, I have been in Incident Management for over a decade as my speciality. I've worked with some of the big players in the space of outsourcing this specific service. So, for those who are not in this field I wanted to give a quick summary of what we do, how we do it and maybe even spark interest of someone who could pursue a career in Incident Management.
Before we get into what the day to day is like, let's explore what Incident Management is.
An incident in its most simple terms is anything outside of business as usual (BAU) operations that causes impact.
Incident Management is how we respond to that incident. It’s a response, not a reaction. Reactions are in the moment; they can be emotionally charged and leave you having to make a plan on the fly. Responding involves following a plan that Incident Managers have in place for as many scenarios as possible.
On a good day Incident Management is very much as most people’s office life:
For someone not involved in the incident process it may seem perfectly fine to have just a help desk to phone with a vendor, but let's consider the following scenarios:
That’s what Incident Managers plan for. The what-if.
From a management perspective, someone may think they have a redundant system with an automated failover so there's no need for an engineer on-call in that scenario, but this approach has downsides too:
These are the questions Incident Managers are there to ask. The answers to these questions on the days without Incidents build a strong foundation for when an incident does occur. More often than not, Incident Managers focus on building redundancy and seeing things from the perspective of an operational live service. If you ever see an Incident Manager seemingly doing nothing, know they are waiting, planning and ready.
On the days that incidents occur, Incident Managers have alerts to investigate. All of the preparation they have done kicks in and following the established plans minimise the consequences.
At Form3, this process looks like this:
In Incident Management, we work with the entire company, across every product we deliver to ensure when something goes wrong, we are there, we have a plan, and we get it fixed as quickly as possible.
The cycle continues throughout the year. Following the days with Incidents and Alerts, Incident Managers review and analyse that response for any weak links to improve on. The more focus we put into this, the less incidents we have and the stronger the company gets.
Good Incident Management is a crucial part of any organisation and woe on any business who thinks they can take it for granted. One poorly managed incident can have knock-on effects for months to come, can impact a company’s reputation and even drive away a new customer.
A good company invests in good incident management and Form3 does just that!
David is one of our Incident Managers at Form3. He has a focus on continual improvement in our processes across the whole company. He is also passionate about accessibility, diversity, inclusion and leadership.
You can find David on LinkedIn where he has several articles on various topics.
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