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Retrospectives

Blameless' Retrospectives 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 Retrospective process.

Getting Started

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

Blameless Retrospectives

The Retrospective 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 Retrospective metadata, including Retrospective state, owner and export options
  • The main panel focuses on core Retrospective 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
Retrospective - OverviewRetrospective - OverviewRetrospective - Overview

Retrospective Header

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

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

Changing Severity

Incident severity can be changed at any time via the severity dropdown in the retrospective header:

  • Sev 0
  • Sev 1
  • Sev 2
  • Sev 3
note

Changing the severity of an incident will not cause it to inherit the settings of that new severity and type. The settings for an incident are determined by the severity and type when the incident is created.

Changing State

There are 8 Retrospective states available:

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

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

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

Retrospective - Retrospective Change States

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

Assigning Owner

The Retrospective owner can be assigned by clicking on the owner button in the header.

Retrospective - Retrospective Owner Assignment

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

Retrospective - Retrospective Owner Assigned

SLA

Blameless will remind the Retrospective owner to complete the Retrospective within the specified SLA duration configured in Settings.

Retrospective - Retrospective SLA Completion Reminder

Exporting the Retrospective

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

  • PDF
  • Email
  • Markdown
Retrospective - Retrospective Export

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

Retrospective - PDF ExportRetrospective - PDF Export

The Retrospective may be exported to one or many emails at once.

Retrospective - Email Export

Retrospective Overview Tab

The Retrospective 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.

Retrospective 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 Retrospective.

Retrospective - Custom Questions

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

Impact

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

  • Display along with other incident related timestamps in the web UI, in between Updated and Start of incident impact:

  • Created

  • Updated

  • Detection

  • Start of an incident impact

etc.

Retrospective - Impact
note

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

Detection Time

The Detection Time timestamp is used to more accurately capture the actual time of detection of a problem tracked under a Blameless incident. It is automatically added to an incident and is initially set to the same time as the creation of the incident. It can then be manually updated and only set to a date and time earlier than the creation date and time.

Retrospective - 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.

Retrospective - Tags

Follow-up Actions

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

Retrospective - Follow-up ActionsRetrospective - No listed Follow-up Actions

Edit an Existing Follow-up Action

  1. Mouse over the pencil ion at the edit of the line holding the desired follow-up action. You will see an info window pop up confirming you can edit the action.
  2. Click on the pencil. The line immediately shifts to the right, displaying a radio button.
  3. Click on the radio button. A check box fills the button, the State column of the action changes from Open to Closed or vice versa.
note

You can click on the radio button again to reverse the “State” value.

Reference an External Ticket

  1. Click on the ticket icon. The “Reference an external ticket” window opens, requesting a well formed, required URL that must start with either an http or https header.
  2. Once the valid URL is added, the “SUBMIT” button will go active and you to attach the reference to the follow-up action.

Adding a new Action

  1. Click on the ellipse and select the “plus” icon or Add Action link. A “New Follow-up Action” window opens.

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.

Retrospective - Follow-up Actions
  1. Enter the Summary describing the new action.

  2. Start typing the name of the Assignee. Blameless will autofill as you enter more letters.

  3. Select the Type. You options are:

    • Mitigation
    • Prevention
    • Process
  4. (Optional) Change the default Jira Project name to a different one. Blameless will autofill as you enter more letters.

  5. (Optional) Change the default JIRA Issue Type from the drop down menu. Your options are:

    • Task
    • Sub-task
    • Story
    • Bug
    • Epic
note

Additional required Jira fields may show up further below, depending on the selected JIRA Issue Type.. If selecting the Epic issue type, Blameless requires you give the Epic name.

  1. Select a Priority value.
  2. (Optional) Change the default value for each required Jira field.
  3. Click on the “Create Action” button.
note

The default values have either been set globally (Settings > Integrations > Ticketing > Jira) or at the incident type level (Settings > Incident Workflows > Incident Types). Optionally, you can override the default value.

Not all required JIRA field types are currently supported. Blameless supports the following field types:

Supported system fields:

  • assignee
  • issuetype
  • priority
  • project
  • Summary

Supported types of custom fields:

  • Free-form text (string)
  • Date/times (date picker)
  • Single select option (i.e., radio button, single choice list)

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.

Retrospective - Root causeRetrospective - Edit Root cause

Retrospective Analysis Tab

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

Retrospective - 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.

Retrospective - Analysis Template Add Images

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

Retrospective Sidebar

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

Collaboration Avatars

When multiple users are collaborating on a Retrospective, the sidebar features avatars indicating which users are editing the Retrospective.

Retrospective - Collaboration Avatars

Comments

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

Retrospective - Comments

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

Retrospective - Comment Mention

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

Retrospective - 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.

Retrospective - Events Timeline

Retrospective Collaborators and Team

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

Retrospective - Retrospective Collaborators and Team

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

Retrospective - Assign Retrospective Role via BotRetrospective - Assign Retrospective Role Options

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

Retrospective - Assign Retrospective Role Notification