What does an IMOC or Incident Commander Do?

Incident Roles

When implementing an incident management process or tool like Kintaba, one of the first critical roles you’ll find yourself in need of is the IMOC, or the Incident Manager On-Call.

There are many definitions out there for exactly what the IMOCs role is, but at Kintaba we believe the most practical is to think of the IMOC as an orchestrator, guiding and providing support and direction when needed.  

Another way to think about it is to say that the IMOC is the owner of the *process*, not the *incident*.

Why do we need an IMOC?

Like a conductor to an orchestra, the IMOC is responsible for making sure the incident process is followed.  That is:

- helping to keep responders calm and focused
- making sure the incident is properly leveled
- helping to connect responders to other relevant parties that may be outside the responders’ network
- ensuring a blameless process that focuses on resolution and system repair

IMOCs are the calming force, usually the most familiar with the incident process.

Who should be an IMOC?

IMOCs should be broadly knowledgeable about the organization with a history of managing high priority emergencies.  Because of this they are often senior employees who are well trained on incident management philosophies and the incident lifecycle.

How is the IMOC different from the Incident Owner?

The IMOC owns the process while the owner owns the incident.  That is, the owner is generally the person most capable of solving the issue directly while the IMOC is the most capable of helping the owner in case the issue mutates or calls for effort outside their knowledgebase.

How do we train new IMOCs?

Future IMOCs should be trained by existing IMOCs, and should observe a series of active incidents to learn how the IMOC participates (and how they stay out of the way as well).

What tools does an IMOC use?

Kintaba makes it easy to have an IMOC rotation set up for each of your organizations.  IMOCs are automatically notified and attached to new incidents, and often take part in the postmortem review process as well.

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