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An incident response room gets your team on informed and working toward resolution faster
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How to speed up time-to-resolution with incident response rooms

Streamline incident management with Switchboard by bringing your tools and people together in a snap.

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In incident response, every second counts. But oftentimes precious time is wasted digging up documents, looking for logs, and trying to remember who is the right escalation point. Switchboard can bring focus to those chaotic moments by keeping all of the tools and information you need at the ready.

Gather the team for a call in your Incident Response room, and start triage immediately with shared browsers and the ability to add side-by-side screenshares. Put monitoring from Datadog, escalations from Pagerduty, and your local IDE next to each other for everyone to see. With everything in one place, you can turn inputs into resolution on the fly.

When everything is resolved (phew!), you can transition into post mortem mode without ever leaving the room.

Step-by-step guide to build an incident response room in Switchboard:

1. Organize your room with Sections for each component of incident response

Sections allow you to quickly group together relevant apps so your team spends less time looking for information and more time acting on it. Create sections for Resources, Observation, Communication, and Retrospectives.

2. Add the relevant apps to each section.

  • Resources: Post the PDF of your system architecture alongside a notepad with your SOP, and sticky note with contact info for escalations in your org.
  • Observation: Add browsers for Pagerduty, Datadog dashboards, and Linear tickets.
  • Communication: Keep the communication plan at the ready along with browsers for your status page or ticketing system so you can keep customers informed in real time.
  • Retrospectives: Get a jumpstart on your retrospective by adding a browser with your Notion template (or any app you use for retros). Add stickies to quickly take notes and upload screenshots on the fly before compiling the results to share.

3. Invite anyone you need to work with into the room

Invite your team with the Share button in the top right. Once they accept the invite, they’ll be able to join you on calls or work in the room on their own. Users can come in and out of the room to get up to speed or add content without waiting for everyone to be free for a call.

4. Start your incident response call

Start a call within the room with the phone icon to quickly get everyone on the same page.

  • While in the call, take notes on the fly using Sticky Notes or Notepad
  • Add multiple Mirrors for screensharing local apps like IDEs (each person can add their own) 
  • Share browser control on your web apps for a true ‘over the shoulder’ computing experience to ‘just let me fix it’ more quickly. 
  • With interactive apps, you and other people on the team can start taking action right in the room at the same time. Then share progress or ask for help from the rest of the room without missing a beat.

Pro tip: Record the call with the record button in the bottom left so you can capture learnings for later.

5. Keep the post-call conversation in context

Start a comment thread on any app or browser to keep the conversation going after the call is complete. With a single click you can @mention anyone on the team with questions or comments in the context of the data you’re reviewing.

6. Record a retrospective

Once the incident is resolved, record a quick post mortem in the room to share. The team will be able to watch the recording as well as access any of the documents you reference in the room.

7. Duplicate your room as a template

Every second counts when an incident is happening, so you can easily duplicate the entire room to spin up for new incidents as they occur, or refresh the content in the same room. Right click on a room name the left nav to duplicate it.

Build your first incident response room in 30 seconds

Ready to cut down on chaos, speed up resolutions, and keep your team in sync during critical incidents? Set up your incident response room today. Get more done faster with multiple browsers, flexible screen shares, quick calls, and easy post-mortems all in one place. Try setting up a Switchboard now to boost your team's response speed when every moment counts.

Faster time to resolution
Gather all the right people and tools together in one place.
Get your incidence response room

Frequently asked questions

What applications work in Switchboard?

Any tool that you can use in your browser works in Switchboard. Analytics, CRM, monitoring, email, CMS, chat, blogs and marketing websites…you name it. For your incident response room, you can add monitoring reports, screenshare native IDEs, web analytics, customer reports.Teammates will need the same access they’d normally need to log in and use web tools - but you can grant shared control while you’re in the room together for an ‘over the shoulder’ experience, and you can leave up screenshots and videos of content that require log in to enable broader access. Note: For tools in your org that require log in, you’ll need to log in periodically just like you would normally in your computer’s web browser.

Who has access to the room?

Access is controlled by you. No one can enter the room without you inviting them. You can set the room to only be accessible to a subset of your team OR allow anyone in your workspace to access the room on their own. If needed, you can even allow temporary access to people outside your workspace or in other parts of your org by selecting ‘allow once’ when they try to request access to the room.

Will the data update automatically?

Data inside dashboards, consoles, or any web tool don’t update via API but by refreshing the page when you join the room, just like if you were viewing that report in your web browser. (Yay! No integrations! Every tool you could possibly want!). In the room, everyone can look at the same data in one view while they talk; either in real time or asynchronously via video recordings, notes, and threads.

How can people ask questions?

Switchboard is made for working together, and there are nearly as many ways of connecting in Switchboard as there are in real life. Similar to a video conference tool, you can ask questions live on video calls or though chat in the room. There are also in-room apps, such as Open Questions app to record and resolve big questions that your team comes up with in meetings or on their own time. But perhaps the most useful way to ask a question is starting a comment thread on any screenshot, note, and website. Threads are especially useful for tools without built-in comments and public websites.

Can we also use the room for a meeting?

Yes, all rooms are equipped with video conferencing. When you start a call, all of the applications and documents will be there ready to use.

What is an Incident Response room?

Incident Response is a term for way a team comes together to address urgent issues with the business, product, or customers. Examples include a webpage going down, data loss, missed SLA, security breach, unhappy customer, or bad bug. Depending on your company size, you may have a set of processes and custom rubrics for determining how your team tracks, designates, and responds to issues. An incident response room in Switchboard can flexibly accommodate your process, tools, and team’s requirements for coming together quickly in real time or asynchronously.

What are the benefits of creating an Incident response room?

When things go sideways, you want to be ready. The best way to work in concert, to get right into understanding, and to solve the root cause of issues is to have right people and the right resources all in the same room. When your team is remote, that feeling can be nearly impossible to reproduce. In Switchboard, you’ll work together even better than you can in person, with all of your data, customer conversations, and people together in one place. Additionally you do do pair programming in multiple simultaneous screenshares, a true ‘over the shoulder’ experience to drive in each other’s tools (with all the security measures you’d expect from a top flight collaboration platform).

What type of information is included in an Incident response room?

The exact tools depends on the resources your team already uses. For example, at Switchboard we use Datadog for monitoring, Vanta to track our security SLAs, Notion for documenting our on-call rotations and SEV escalation rubric. We also use Switchboard’s sticky notes and notepads for documenting meeting notes, action items, and best practices. Remember that you can quickly duplicate the room to use for other incidents, so feel free to add any resources you may find useful.

Faster time to resolution
Gather all the right people and tools together in one place.
Get your incidence response room

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