Post-Incident Reviews: New Book, Updated Features, Good Times Ahead

I’m excited to announce that VictorOps has updated the feature formerly known as the Postmortem Report, which is now called the Post-Incident Review. This updated feature aligns with our colleague Jason Hand’s new O’Reilly book: Post Incident Reviews.

Using VictorOps to Continuously Improve

When we first launched the Postmortem Report over three years ago, we were excited to see how our customers enthusiastically leveraged this feature to improve as a team. Since then, we have seen many permutations of post-incident reviews, but the consistent formula for success is based on this: being able to see an incident’s granular history, analyzing and annotating that history, and prescribing distinct action steps.

In this next feature evolution, you’ll build out your post-incident analysis by creating rich annotations and identifying action steps for your team to learn and be proactive in resolving future incidents.

It’s not about root cause

Our philosophy at VictorOps is based on the concept of learning from failure. Without a formal process to retrospectively analyze, many approach a post-incident review as simply a report for identifying root cause.

But conducting a post-incident review is not about identifying root cause and prescribing corrective actions. Instead, it’s about learning from systemic issues and experiences to improve the system holistically across the entire incident lifecycle, starting with preparing for or preventing the next incident before it occurs.

Goodbye Postmortem, Hello Post-Incident Review

As stated above, we have changed the name from Postmortem Report to Post-Incident Review since “an examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death” does not align with our vision of how we expect teams to evolve.

  • The idea of death sets the wrong tone and allows fear to bias or persuade individuals toward self-preservation and justification rather than encouraging genuine transparency and learning. Thus, we have chosen to discuss a type of learning review known as a post-incident review. -Jason Hand

A post-incident review provides an interactive process that allows teams to analyze the entire lifecycle of an incident, including the formation of teams and the relevant information surfaced leveraging the rich VictorOps platform (the black box, chat integrations, etc) and take discrete action steps in order to improve and learn as a team.

We’re excited to align with Jason Hand’s view that running a post-incident review is about evolving and continuously improving as a product delivery organization.

Try the New Post-Incident Review Feature

I encourage you to try out our newly improved Post-Incident Review feature and let us know how it works for your team. And don’t forget to download the new book!

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