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Microsoft Teams Blameless Bot

The Microsoft Teams Blameless Bot allows users to easily orchestrate activities with less toil using a comprehensive framework to work, resolve, and inform regarding issues.

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The Teams Blameless Bot is available on the Microsoft AppSource. We recommend you first read through our Microsoft Teams integration setup for directions on how to install the bot first.

Getting Started

Working in Microsoft Teams

For those who have used Slack before, Microsoft Teams handles the bot commands differently:

  1. Displaying available commands in Microsoft Teams In Teams, when a user enters the following command in an incident channel, you can retrieve a list of available Blameless commands:

@blameless + type ENTER click the “Send” button (arrow icon) or type ENTER a second time.

important

Once you enter the @command, you must press ENTER and then the SEND button (Arrow icon). This sequence will then display the list of available commands.

  1. Threads vs. Conversations In Microsoft Teams, Microsoft identifies what Slack calls “Threads” as “Conversations”.

  2. Where’s the Microsoft Teams response? When you enter an @blameless command in Microsoft Teams, scroll down if you do not see the expected result on your screen as the active window does not automatically advance into the viewing frame.

  3. Executing Commands You have to click on the “Run selected command” button after you select a command to execute it.

  4. Where am I? Look at the structure of the Microsoft Teams Conversation. The Description line at the top ic the working frame will identify the location. For example:

Create follow-up action

Once the Blameless bot is installed, you can start an incident in Teams by mentioning the bot @blameless from any channel that the Blameless Bot has access to.

@ message Blameless bot

Upon mentioning the bot, it will provide you a list of command options, including starting an incident and showing recent incidents.

blameless bot commands outside an incident

Starting an Incident

  1. Click on "Start Incident". The bot will then prompt you to specify a type, severity, and description and request the relevant Microsoft Teams Team name.
Start incident MST name search
  1. Start typing the relevant team name and the bot will provide a list of matching names.
Start incident command

Once the incident starts, the bot will create a dedicated incident channel and display a summary.

Incident rundown summary

Incident Management via the Blameless Bot

After creating an incident, it's time to work through the incident and manage it with the help of the bot, including tasks, roles, incident lifecycle, data collection and more. The dedicated incident channel will be populated with the incident summary for immediate context.

Incident rundown summary

As a first step, the incident creator will be prompted with some suggested actions to start managing the incident.

Suggested initial commands

In addition to the initial suggestions, the Blameless Bot provides several commands to facilitate workflows during the incident.

@ message Blameless botAll commands

The following table lists available bot commands to help manage the various aspects of an incident.

CategoryAvailable Commands
IncidentAssign Incident Role
Set Incident Status
Set Incident Type
Set Incident Description
Set Incident Severity
Show Incident
Invite User to Incident
Mark Incident as Duplicate
Resolve Incident
Delete Incident
TasksAdd Task
Assign Task
View All Tasks
View Your Tasks
TagsShow Tags
Manage Tags
On-CallShow On-Call
Show Escalation Policy
Trigger Alert
Timeline EventsAdd Timeline Message
Show Timeline Events
AdvancedAssign Retrospective Role
Send Retrospective as Email

Incident Commands

Assign Incident Roles

Users can assign roles by selecting a role/user combination from the dropdowns.

Assign Role

Upon role assignment, the bot will show a success message and display the tasks list for the current incident phase.

Role assigned

Set Incident Status

Users can move the incident through the various phases by selecting the incident phase they'd like to transition to.

Set incident status

Set Incident Type

Users can set the incident type by selecting a new incident type.

Set incident type
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As noted in the window, changing the incident type will not affect the tasks created for the incident, based on the previous incident type.

Set Incident Severity

Users can change the incident severity by selecting a new severity.

Set incident severity

Set Incident Description

Users can set the incident description by entering a description in the text area.

Set incident description

Resolve Incident

When you are ready to resolve an incident, simply select the option from the dropdown and the bot will resolve the incident and you may begin the retrospective process.

Upon resolution, the bot will provide a final, updated, incident rundown summary in the channel, and an updated task list for the Resolved state.

Resolve incidentResolved state task list

Delete Incident

Upon deleting an incident, the bot will delete the incident channel, as well as the incident itself from the Blameless system.

Show Incident

The Show Incident command will show the latest incident rundown in the incident channel.

Incident Rundown

Invite User to Incident

You can explicitly invite users to the existing incident by selecting the user from the dropdown. Invited users will automatically be added to the incident team in our web UI as Participants.

  1. Select the desired action. (i.e., "Invite User to Incident").

  2. Select the "Run selected command" button.

Invite User to Incident

The "Invite User" search window opens.

Search for User to Invite to the Incident
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All fields are mandatory (*).

  1. Start your search by entering a name in the "Search for user" dropdown field and click on the "Search" button.
User search results
  1. Click on the "Invite User to Incident" button when you find the desired user.
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A User can reuse the same window to make another search query and/or invite other users.

  1. Select the next user to invite (if multiple invitations) from the same window and repeat the search process. As each invitation fills, Microsoft Teams will display the invite list below the dropdown field.
Inviting multiple user results
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If the user is not found, Microsoft Teams will display a failure notification in the window.

User not found message

Mark Incident as Duplicate

To mark an incident as a duplicate specify the other, duplicate, incident and its ID. As a result, the bot will mark the incident as a duplicate in the Blameless system, adjust the status to DUPLICATED, and add an entry to the incident timeline to reflect the change.

Mark as duplicateMarked as duplicateDuplicate entry in timeline

Tasks

The Blameless bot facilitates managing tasks during an incident via several commands designed to allow for ease when adding, assigning, and completing your incident tasks.

Tasks provide a mechanism by which you can ensure that certain items are completed or suggested during an incident lifecycle. These tasks can be assigned to each phase of the incident, as well as to a specific role or owner.

As the incident progresses through each subsequent phase, the tasks for that phase will become available.

Add Task

  1. To create a new task, first select a task assignee type:
  • a role specific task or
  • a user specific task
  1. Next, based on your assignee type selection, select either a user or a role to assign the new task to.
  2. Finally, enter a task description and add the task.
Add task

Upon successfully creating a new task, the bot will present the task list which includes the newly created task.

Newly added task

Interacting with Tasks

  1. To mark a task as complete or incomplete, simply select the "View Tasks" command.
  2. Toggle the task checkboxes accordingly.
  3. Click "Update".
Interact with tasks

Upon successfully toggling task states, the bot will respond with a summary of the task changes.

Updated Tasks

Tags

The Blameless bot allows you to capture metadata during an incident via our flexible tags mechanism. You can manage and view tags by category helping you to enrich your incident data and reporting.

  1. To add or remove tags, select the "Manage Tags" option.
Manage TagsTags added

You can view your tags at any time via the "View Tags" command.

View Tags

On-call

The Blameless bot allows you to streamline your on-call workflow during an incident, including the ability to show on-call, escalation policies, and take action by triggering alerts.

Show on-callShow on-callShow on-callShow on-call

Incident Timeline

You can view the incident timeline at any time, and add a custom event to the timeline via the bot by using our Timeline commands.

View timeline
  1. Select the "Add Timeline Message" command.
  2. Enter the message in the Description field.
  3. Click on "Add Timeline Message".
Add timeline event

During an incident, users can also capture important messages, files, and images as highlights to the incident timeline via the messages action menu. In the top right of the message box click on the ellipse (...) to bring up the “More actions” menu and select “Capture highlight” to automatically capture the text as a new timeline event.

Message actions menuEvent captured

Follow-Up Actions

Follow-up actions can be created at any time during an incident. Simply describe the follow-up action in the Teams chat and then mouse over the message.

  1. In the top right of the message box click on the ellipse (...) to bring up the more actions menu and select "Capture as follow-up action" to automatically create a JIRA ticket from the selected text.
Create follow-up actionFollow-up actions success

Swimlanes

Users may start a swimlane in an incident channel to track a separate conversation which focuses on investigating a problem based on a theory formulated by the incident commander or other participants in the incident channel. Participants can be invited to join this conversation and can be assigned new tasks in this swimlane to refute or confirm the theory. Once the investigation of this theory is completed, the swimlane can be closed.

Refer to the Microsoft Teams Swimlanes Guide for more information.

Advanced Commands

From the advanced menu, users can leverage retrospective related commands, including assigning retrospective roles, and the ability to send the retrospective via email.

Assign Retrospective Role

  1. Select the desired action. (i.e., "Assign Retrospective Role").
  2. Select the "Run selected command" button. The "Role select" window opens with two required (*) dropdown fields:
  • Assign a user to a retrospective role
  • Search for user
User assigned PM role
  1. Select the desired Role (i.e., "Owner") from the dropdown.
note

All fields are mandatory.

  1. Start your search by entering a name in the "Search for user" dropdown field and click on the "Search" button.
Incident Rundown
  1. Click on the "Assign Retrospective Role" button when you find the desired user.
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A User can reuse the Search window to make another search query and/or assign other users to the same or different roles.

  1. Select the next Retrospective role (if multiple assignments exist) from the same window and repeat the search process. As each role fills, Microsoft Teams will display the assignment below the dropdown fields.
Users assigned
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If the user is not found, Microsoft Teams will display a failure notification in the window.

User not found message

Send Retrospective as an Email

As part of the Available Command options for an Incident, the user can also send the Retrospective, when complete, as an Email to a list of users.

  1. Display the "Available Commands for Incident".

  2. Select the "Advanced" dropdown option.

  3. Locate the "Send Retrospective as Email" command.

PM as email advanced option
  1. Click on the "Run selected command" button. The "Send Retrospective as Email" window opens.
PM as email
  1. Enter the desired user email addresses, separated by spaces.
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  • One address minimum is required
  • No maximum limits (from the bot perspective) on the number of email addresses included
  • Retrospective can be emailed to anyone--there is no requirement to be associated with the incident in question
  1. Click on the "Send Retrospective as Email" button. Once sent, you will receive confirmation that the Retrospective has been sent.
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  • There will be no errors displayed if the email sending fails
  • We will receive error only if emails were not properly set for further sending

Supported Integrations

The Blameless bot supports a variety of integrations that provide streamlined workflows during an incident, including JIRA for ticketing, Microsoft Teams Video, Zoom, Google Meet and GoToMeeting for video bridge, and Pagerduty for on-call management.

JIRA

With our Blameless bot JIRA integration, a corresponding ticket will be created for each incident, and you may also create follow-up actions as needed during the lifecycle of an incident.

Incident rundown summary

Follow-up Actions

Follow-up actions can be created at any time during an incident.

Simply describe the follow-up action in the Teams chat and then mouse over the message. In the top right of the message box click on the ellipse (...) to bring up the more actions menu and select "Capture as follow-up action" to automatically create a JIRA ticket from the selected text.

Create follow-up actionFollow-up actions success

Microsoft Teams Video

With our Blameless bot Microsoft Teams video integration, a Microsoft Teams video bridge will be displayed in your incident rundown so you can collaborate more effectively over video together.

Incident rundown summary with Microsoft Teams Video

Zoom

With our Blameless bot Zoom integration, a Zoom video bridge will be displayed in your incident rundown so you can collaborate more effectively over video together.

Incident rundown summary with Zoom

GoToMeeting

With our Blameless bot GoToMeeting integration, a GoToMeeting video bridge will be displayed in your incident rundown so you can collaborate more effectively over video together.

Incident rundown summary with GoToMeeting

Google Meet

With our Blameless bot Google Meet integration, a Google Meet video bridge will be displayed in your incident rundown so you can collaborate more effectively over video together.

Incident rundown summary with Google Meet

PagerDuty

With our Blameless bot PagerDuty integration, you can streamline your on-call workflow during an incident, including the ability to show on-call, escalation policies, and take action by triggering alerts.

Show on-callShow on-callShow on-callShow on-call