Users, Teams, and Roles
Incident roles help align responders behind a clear set of tasks, responsibilities, and expectations. Roles help responders stay organized during stressful situations where many things need to get done.
FireHydrant ships with several roles out-of-box, but they can be customized, deleted, or otherwise adjusted per your organization's needs.
- Generally, the Incident Commander holds the high-level view of the incident and organizes the response. This may involve pulling in the right stakeholders, facilitating communications, and otherwise ensuring the team stays on track and knows what they need to do.
- Ops Lead
- The Ops Lead is generally a responder who jumps in and handles the technical work of mitigating the incident. This could include restarting servers, browsing and fetching logs, or any other deep technical work. Ops Leads often include SMEs or specific service owners.
- The Communications role generally consists of people responsible for following along with the incident, distilling updates, and then facilitating external communications to customers. This could include email, status page, messaging, or other comms as required.
- Sometimes, more complex incidents or long-running incidents may require additional help. We think of planners as an additional support role that helps facilitate things like creating Follow-Ups, arranging hand-offs, or other work as required.
Creating and updating roles
- Click Roles in the left nav.
- On the Roles page, click Create role if creating a new role, or click on the edit pencil icon if editing an existing role.
- Provide/edit the name, summary, and description for the role, then click Save.
- The Name and Summary fields will be shown to users via a direct message when assigned during an incident.
Assigning Users to Roles
During an incident, you typically assign users so that there is a record of who was involved. In addition, on FireHydrant, assigning users will also automatically pull them into the incident Slack channel and notify them. Assigning users is easy and can be done in multiple ways.
Manually via UI
In the Command Center during an incident, you can click the Pencil icon next to Response Team in the details panel. This will open a modal to edit the responders on an incident.
Manually via Slack
From Slack, within the Incident channel, you can run the
/fh assign role command to open a modal where you can assign a user.
Automatically via Runbook
Using Runbook automation, you can automatically assign individuals to certain roles when incidents start.
Codifying this in a Runbook can help make your process repeatable and consistent.
Alongside assigning specific users, you can also assign entire teams of people, grouped together by various traits.
Some organizations will group their team members by function, such as Incident Commanders, Infrastructure Engineers, and more. Other organizations may group their team members by component ownership, such as by specific services, functionalities, or environments.
It's up to your organization how you want to organize your teams. You can learn more about configuring your teams here.
The biggest difference is that with teams, you can designate default roles for users as well as pull people from on-call schedules.
Just like with users above, you can also assign Teams in multiple places.
Manually via UI
When declaring an incident via UI, the form allows you to choose which team(s) should be included in the incident.
Within an incident's Command Center, just like assigning roles, you can click the pencil icon next to Response Team in the details panel. When the modal opens, you can change the radio selection to "Team" instead of "User", allowing you to select a team to assign instead.
Manually via Slack
Within Slack, the command for assigning teams is
/fh assign team. This will also open a modal for selecting which team you'd like to pull into the incident.
In addition, when an incident first starts, we also display the Assign Team button as a quick action in the initial message in an incident.
You can also customize the New Incident modal in Slack to also allow selecting teams before declaring the incident.
Automatically via Runbooks
Just like assigning roles, you can also automate pulling teams into incidents via a Runbook step.
This enables powerful automation such as conditionally pulling certain teams in based on certain conditions - certain Severity, certain milestones, certain tags, etc.
Automatically via Service Catalog
If you are making use of the Catalog, once you've assigned the Responding Team(s) for a Service or Functionality, you can check the setting just below to Auto-add responding team.
Once this setting is enabled, any time this particular Service/Functionality is marked as impacted in an incident, FireHydrant will automatically pull in the responding teams. It's a fast, highly effective way to pull in the right people for the right issues.
- You can also use your alerting provider's escalation policies or on-call schedules to pull in on-call responder(s).
- Make use of FireHydrant's task lists to effectively align responders or roles to tasks that need to be done.