To all the amazing incident management teams: May the Fourth be with you

To all the amazing incident management teams: May the Fourth be with you

By Rob Schnepp, general partner at BlackRock 3 Partners, and Jason Walker, field CTO at BigPanda

Downtime. It’s more than just a bar on the Rebel Alliance’s base on Folor. For IT Ops teams, downtime is not fun. It costs time, money and often, user frustration. It takes more than the Force to handle incidents…it takes an intergalactic team. An effective incident management team is made up of people with many different skill sets, styles and approaches.

We thought it would be fun to map the heroes of IT Ops with Star Wars characters (across Star Wars generations) based on their traits:

Obi-Wan Kenobi: An modern executive who understands the often missed link between service availability and business reputation, financial growth and competitive advantage. This person supports the implementation of IMS and commits time and financial resources to build world-class response capabilities.

Han Solo: Unafraid of high-stakes, high-pressure incidents but sometimes viewed as a scoundrel, or even nerfherder, and definitely not afraid to get his hands dirty, Han is actually a true incident commander. People in this category are also typically charismatic, not afraid to make decisions and be leaders.

Luke Skywalker: Our incident responder — regardless of rank —  who is connected to the response and has a strong moral compass to “do the right thing” in the incident response program. These heroes may come across as introverted, but they are taking in the big picture and understand the state of play.”

Princess Leia: This is the LNO: empathetic, with good communication skills. They can read the room and match the message to the audience. They also have a calming presence and are fearless under pressure and scrutiny. They are also surprisingly good with a blaster.

Yoda: The C-suite personality, whose motives may seem inscrutable and goals incredibly long-term, Yoda is able to accomplish what the IT Ops team might consider impossible.  Operating at the strategic level, Yoda can change the entire Ops landscape with unfailing optimism, critical resources, and the right philosophy.

Chewbacca: This is our loyal but (sometimes) grumpy, insightful hero but doesn’t communicate well, and sometimes operates in a silo. This hero is a good SME, but just requires the right approach. Chewbacca may be difficult to communicate with and/or manage. This persona is typically well-intentioned but can come with a large personality and presence.

R2-D2: The excellent SME. They are well-versed in troubleshooting, problem-solving and quick thinking. They also communicate with low emotional drama and stick to the facts (good or bad) regardless of the situation.

C3PO:  The analyst; incredibly knowledgeable of IT Ops statistics, C3PO identifies short and long-term trends, and communicates them in the appropriate language.

When it comes to avoiding outages and service issues, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The most critical thing to put in place is a team who can make honest assessments based on verified information. In addition, this team has to avoid political, reactionary and change-averse elements that can all derail otherwise good plans. It takes a team of intergalactic all-stars who understand the value of AIOps to fight the empire of evil incidents.

Do you have other characters on your team who should be highlighted? Share them with us in the comment section!

You can also put your Star Wars knowledge to the test! Attend the INOC and BigPanda webinar and play trivia with us on May the Fourth, 2021 starting at 11:00am PST | 1:00pm CDT | 2:00pm EDT. Click here to register.