[Opsgenie], [DocumentDownload], [Incident management]

Language used across the high technology ecosystem is dynamic to say the least. Nowhere else can you find a mixture of technical jargon seamlessly intertwined with references from science fiction, mythology, pop-culture, literature, and more.

While this makes conversations heard across technical environments colorful and engaging, it also makes communications allegorical and metaphorical— opening them to variable interpretation.

At times when communication is more relaxed, this style of conversation can be seen as engaging and playful. However, when incidents happen, the level of severity shifts and a different language appears altogether. Based upon the potentially massive impact of IT incidents across business operations, the language of incident management must be technically precise, actionable, and leave no room for misinterpretation.

Why is this shift in communication necessary? Because modern IT operations are the nexus of businesses operations. If a system goes down, the impact is immediate and significant— costing tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars for every minute of downtime.

With this level of severity, it makes sense that many of today’s terms used in IT incident management are taken directly from terms widely adoptedby disaster response teams. Terms that are clear and understandable in chaotic enviroments. Terms that help teams work together to remediate an incident as quickly as possible.

This white paper was created to serve as a foundation for teams to improve communication through the entirety of an incident. It highlights and defines essential terms that aid in clear and accurate communication during an incident

For additional context, these terms have been further categorized according to which of the five stages of the incident lifecycle that they are most likely to be used. These stages consist of: Planning, Detection and Alerting, Containment, Remediation, and Analysis and are indicated by a corresponding icon, outlined in the key below.


The Language of Incident Management

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