Managing Incident Response with Slack

This article describes how to best utilize FireHydrant's Slack integration. If you haven't already set up the integration, read Integrating FireHydrant with Slack for details.

At its core, the FireHydrant integration with Slack is designed to be a low-friction way of opening an incident, compiling notes and messages automatically, and mobilizing team members quickly. This article describes how to get started with FireHydrant commands in Slack.

Declaring an Incident

Declaring a new incident is simple! To get started:

1. Directly from Slack, run:

/firehydrant new

You can also declare an incident using our Slack shortcut by clicking the shortcut icon in your chat field.

shortcut_icon.png

From the shortcut options that appear, select New Incident.

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After you declare the incident, a dialog box opens, providing fields for incident details.

2. Add the details you want to specify (the only required field is the incident Name).

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3. After filling in the details for the incident, click Open. FireHydrant automatically creates a new Slack channel for the incident. (You can customize this automation step by creating or editing existing Runbooks.)

 

Using Incident Channels

The FireHydrant Slack integration acts as your scribe, recording all of the chatter and attachments pasted into the channel for a specific incident. For example, if you add an image of a graph in the channel, FireHydrant stores that image in your timeline automatically.

Inform other channels of a newly-opened incident by running:

/firehydrant notify #general

This causes FireHydrant to post a message about the incident in the general chatroom.

Automatic channel notifications

As an alternative to notifying channels manually, FireHydrant enables you to configure channels that automatically receive incident notifications. You can do this by adding a "Notify Channel" step to your Runbook for a given incident.

Adding impact

From inside a dedicated incident response channel (e.g., #incident-343), you can add an impact to the incident, meaning you can specify the services, environments, and/or functionalities impacted by the incident.

For example, to identify an impacted service called "Firehose", you'd run:

/firehydrant add impact

A dialogue box opens, providing the option to search for the impact you’d like to add. When you click Add, FireHydrant automatically adds the selected impact into the incident. 

add_impact.png

Adding action items

You can add action items during an incident--whether it's to create a task that must be done immediately or to create a follow-up ticket that needs to be addressed in the future. You can also assign an action item to a specific user. To open the action item dialog box, run:

/firehydrant add action-item
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Note: If you're using our JIRA integration, adding an action item automatically creates a ticket in JIRA.

Creating notes and status updates

To post a more formal note or a status update about the incident, you can add a note directly from the dedicated incident response channel by running:

/firehydrant add note

Add the content of your note in the field provided.

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After you provide content for the note, you can post it:

  • privately on Slack (this is valuable if you’d like to only add notes to your retrospective timeline in the future)
  • on FireHydrant's built-in status page feature (private and/or public)
  • directly to your Statuspage.io

For example, posting a note on FireHydrant’s private status page (which can be sent to other stakeholders within your organization, like customer success, sales, etc.) will generate something like this: 

Private status pages remain live for forty-eight hours after an incident. After forty-eight hours, FireHydrant returns a 404 error.

Assigning Incident roles

You can configure as many incident roles in FireHydrant as you'd like. Incident roles are valuable for quickly delegating responsibilities to responders during an incident.

To assign a user a role during an incident, simply run:

/firehydrant assign role

A dialogue box opens where you can select an existing FireHydrant user and assign them a role.

assign_role.png

All of the roles you create in FireHydrant for your organization are available through this command.

When you assign roles to users, they’ll receive a direct message in Slack (assuming their FireHydrant account is linked with Slack) saying they’ve been assigned the role. You can add team members within the FH UI by going to Organizations > Members.

To confirm that your FireHydrant account is linked with Slack, run:

/firehydrant link

Resolving incidents

Once you’ve fixed that pesky incident, mark it as resolved in the incident channel by running:

/firehydrant resolve

This automatically marks the incident as resolved.

 

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