On-call Management Guide

The Zen of SRE

best-practices Jun 25, 2019

Our guide to making on-call and managing incidents Zen. Inspired by Tim Peters’ The Zen of Python


Order is better than disorder.

Positive is better than negative.

Straight is better than vague

Communicating now is better than communicating later.

An incident should never go unacknowledged.

Unless explicitly supressed.

An incident has one and only one commander.

Context counts.

So does documentation.

Delegating and deadlines are a fantastic idea.

Automating is better than not automating.

Although not automating is often better than automating right now.

In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.

If the process is hard to explain, it’s a bad idea.

If the process is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.

An incident should never go undocumented

Postmortems must be absolutely blameless

Feedback should never go unimplemented


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