Role of the Incident Responder

Incident Roles

Introduction

Within incident management systems like Kintaba, the responder role is given to anyone who is actively requested to help solve or mitigate the active incident.  

For an engineering incident this generally includes a group of affiliated engineers and IT operations employees, but as you’ll read below, nontechnical responders may also be involved.

Expectations

At a high level, responders are expected to acknowledge requests for their presence as quickly as possible, especially for SEV1 incidents and ask for direction from the incident owner.  

Until they are released by the owner or IMOC, responders are expected to remain available or be actively working towards resolution so long as the incident remains open.

Non-Technical Responders

It is important to remember that incidents can have impact outside the technical practices within a company and in many cases an incident requires non-technical responders.  These incidents may

* have a public or PR impact for the company
* be related to or impact policy or legal compliance
* involve a 3rd party relationship with a non-technical organization

If the owner of the incident is within a technical department, the IMOC will often help to identify and add the appropriate contacts within these other departments.

Relationship to Owner and IMOC

The owner remains ultimately responsible for the resolution of the incident and will often work to delegate work to responders, while the IMOC is available as an orchestrator to help identify the appropriate responders outside of the owner’s circle of knowledge.

Releasing Responders

The incident owner is generally expected to give guidance to responders about when they are no longer needed for an incident.  In Kintaba, the responder can be removed explicitly, and then re-added in the future if needed again.

Responders should not disconnect from the incident without checking with the owner first.

Incident Responders and Postmortems

All responders will be invited to the postmortem review and should generally attend if their contributions were significant.  Responders should also make sure to review the completed postmortem document and provide feedback to the owner for any incorrect or missing information.

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