Postmortems

Blameless' postmortems help reduce toil and promote effective collaboration. Learn without pointing fingers, ensuring continuous improvements. We automatically bring relevant information, proper context and industry best practices to your postmortem process.

Getting Started

Navigate over to the Blameless UI, and from the postmortem list page, find the postmortem you want to manage.

Blameless Postmortems

The postmortem page is setup to provide you with the capabilities to manage all aspects of your incident analysis:

  • The top section provides an overview of the postmortem metadata, including postmortem state, owner and export options
  • The main panel focuses on core postmortem usability around the summary, custom questions, impact, tags, follow-up actions and root cause
  • The side panel focuses on collaboration with comments, event timeline, authors, and team
Postmortem - OverviewPostmortem - OverviewPostmortem - Overview

Postmortem Header

Within the postmortem header you can view the following postmortem metadata and properties:

  • Postmortem State
  • Postmortem Created Time
  • Postmortem Updated Time
  • Postmortem Owner
  • A link back to the incident

Changing State

There are 8 postmortem states available:

  • Unassigned: this is the default state for a new postmortem
  • Assigned
  • Draft Ready
  • In review
  • Approved
  • Rejected
  • Published
  • Not required

You can transition to/from these states at any time. If an incident type/severity has require postmortem enabled in settings, the war room channel will not be archived until the postmortem has been published, even if the incident is resolved.

If a postmortem is required and you still want to archive the channel without publishing the postmortem, you may set it to the Not Required state.

Incident Details page - Change Type

Changing the postmortem state will be captured automatically in the events timeline.

Assigning Owner

The postmortem owner can be assigned by clicking on the owner button in the header:

Postmortem - Postmortem Owner Assignment

Once the owner is assigned, they will be notified via Blameless Bot:

Postmortem - Postmortem Owner Assigned

SLA

Blameless will remind the postmortem owner to complete the postmortem within the specified SLA duration configured in Settings:

Postmortem - Postmortem SLA Completion Reminder

Exporting the Postmortem

The postmortem can be exported to a variety of formats, including:

  • PDF
  • Email
  • Markdown
Postmortem - Postmortem Export

PDF export allows you to customize the sections you'd like to include, and in which order:

Postmortem - PDF ExportPostmortem - PDF Export

The postmortem may be exported to one or many emails at once:

Postmortem - Email Export

Postmortem Overview Tab

The postmortem overview focuses on core usability around the summary, custom questions, impact, tags, follow-up actions and root cause analysis.

Summary

The summary allows you to provide a digestible brief of your incident. This can be edited by clicking on the edit icon:

Postmortem Overview - Edit Summary

Custom Questions

Different teams may be looking for different answers. With that in mind, custom questions allows you to define a set of questions to be completed with each postmortem.

Postmortem - Custom Questions

Refer to the Settings Guide for more information on how to configure custom questions for postmortems.

Impact

The impact section allows you to view and adjust key incident timings as you prepare your analysis:

Postmortem - Impact

These timings can be edited by clicking on the edit icon:

Postmortem - Edit Impact

Tags

Similar to the tags on the Incident page, tags is presented here again to provide users with a powerful mechanism for you to capture and label metadata for incidents which can later be viewed in Reliability Insights reports and queries.

Postmortem - Tags

Follow-up Actions

Follow-up actions can be added at any point during an incident, especially during a postmortem. They can be added by clicking the Add Action button or the more actions menu

Postmortem - Follow-up ActionsPostmortem - Follow-up Actions

When adding a new action, you will be prompted to fill out standard fields such as:

  • Summary
  • Assignee
  • Type
note

If the JIRA integration is enabled, additional fields will also be shown, such as Project and Issue type.

Postmortem - Add Action JIRA

Root Cause

The root cause analysis section provides a traditional N-Whys method for your team to dive deep into the root incident cause. You may identify one item as the root cause.

Postmortem - Root causePostmortem - Edit Root cause

Postmortem Analysis Tab

The analysis section lets users collaborate on a postmortem writeup together in real-time.

Postmortem - Analysis

Adding Images to the Analysis

The analysis section supports rich text with formatting via the toolbar, as well as the ability to easily add images from the event timeline or direct upload into the analysis:

Postmortem - Analysis Template Add Images

For more information on how to configure the postmortem analysis template, refer to the Settings Guide.

Postmortem Sidebar

The sidebar focuses on collaboration with comments, event timeline, authors, and team.

Collaboration Avatars

When multiple users are collaborating on a postmortem, the sidebar features avatars indicating which users are editing the postmortem:

Postmortem - Collaboration Avatars

Comments

Commenting allows users to collaborate and create a historical stream of discussion with support for replies and @ mentions.

Postmortem - Comments

When a user is @ mentioned, they will receive a notification from Blameless Bot drawing their attention to the postmortem where they have been mentioned.

Postmortem - Comment Mention

Commnents may also be resolved once a point of discussion has come to a conclusion.

Postmortem - Resolve comments

Events Timeline

Similar to the events timeline on the Incident page, the timeline is presented here again to provide users with an overview of key events for help in writing up their analysis.

Postmortem - Events Timeline

Postmortem Collaborators and Team

The complete team and collaborators can easily be viewed from the sidebar:

Postmortem - Postmortem Collaborators and Team

In addition to a postmortem owner, users may also be assigned the collaborative roles of authors and reviewers during an incident using Blameless Bot:

Postmortem - Assign Postmortem Role via BotPostmortem - Assign Postmortem Role Options

Once assigned roles, they will be notified by Blameless Bot:

Postmortem - Assign Postmortem Role Notification