Incident Management 101

Incident Management in xMatters lets you initiate, work, and review an incident from a simple, intuitive command center. In this overview, we go over the parts of the Incident Console and how to use them. If you'd like a deeper dive into any of them, we'll point you in the right direction.

If you're the type who learns by example, check out our walkthrough of working an incident, which goes through the process — from incident initiation to resolution to review. To access the incident management features in xMatters, click Incidents in the main menu to open the Incidents list.

This is part of the adaptive incident management toolset and is not yet available in all instances.

The Incidents list

Use the Incidents list to quickly find incidents where you're the owner, or narrow the list based on severity or status. You can also search for a keyword in the summary or description to find incidents you need to engage with.

Do you have multiple signals initiating incidents created by the same root cause? Set the status or severity of multiple incidents at once to reduce the noise and give your resolution team space to think. Set the status to "Rejected" to easily filter it out of the Incidents list and remove it from your analytics.

Click a specific incident to view its details. Don't see any incidents? You can initiate a new one manually using the Initiate Incident button or the dashboard widget, or automate incident initiations — learn how.

The Incident Console

The Incident Console is your heads-up display for working an incident. Find and update incident details, gather your resolution team, and add notes to help in the incident postmortem.

Basic incident details

First up are the basic incident details:

Resolvers

Use Resolvers to see what teams and individuals are engaged in the incident resolution process and who might need to be notified again, and to engage new resolvers as the incident progresses.

Collaboration

Stay connected with your incident resolution team using collaboration channels. If you have channels associated with the incident, they show up in Collaboration. Click the conference link to go to the Conference Report in xMatters or click a chat link to quickly join the conversation. Click the copy icon to share the information with others.

Add collaboration channels to your incidents by dragging and dropping steps into the flow in Flow Designer. Learn more in our Incident Resolution workflow guide.

Timeline

The Timeline lets you keep track of everything that happened during the incident, recording incident activity in real-time and noting who made the change — when the incident was created, who's been notified and their response, and changes to incident details, such as status and severity.

You can also add notes, recording resolution activity to help in post-incident analysis.

Tailor it to adapt to your incident management process

The Incidents list streamlines the process of working an active incident, letting you find critical incidents, reduce noise by eliminating duplicates, and monitor the progress of an incident on the incident console.

But, with a customizable workflow and the power of Flow Designer, you can tailor xMatters adaptive incident management to suit your needs. For example:

  • Initiate an incident in response to another step in a flow, or initiate an incident when xMatters receives a signal to an HTTP trigger.
  • Customize notifications and responses.
  • Gather more information to send to the resolvers before the incident is initiated.
  • Set up your own collaboration channels.
  • Add automated steps to help incident resolution, such as rebuilding a Jenkins project or automatically post to a Statuspage to let your customers know you're aware of the problem and are working on the issue.

Learn more about how to customize the installable incident management workflow.