Atlassian JIRA, one of the most popular ticketing systems, allows teams to catalogue incidents, follow-up actions, bugs, stories, and more. As a common tool in any DevOps/SRE operation’s toolchain, JIRA is a key integration at Blameless.
Blameless’ integration with JIRA allows teams to automatically generate a ticket within both Blameless and JIRA. This integration also allows teams to track follow-up actions via Blameless’ postmortem tool.
Creating an incident in Blameless and JIRA: At the start of an incident, you can create a new incident with Blameless. By creating a new incident, it will spin up three things:
- A Slack channel that acts as your war room
- A video conference bridge for synchronous communication
- A corresponding JIRA ticket
This JIRA ticket will act as the parent ticket for this incident.
Creating a follow-up item in Blameless and JIRA: After an incident has been created, within Blameless you can add follow-up actions generated throughout the investigation. These can be automatically synced to JIRA under the incident parent ticket.
You can then assign these action items. Incident statuses set in Blameless will reflect in JIRA, allowing Blameless to be your source of truth.
You can also create a follow-up action for both Blameless and JIRA with our Slack integration. Simply type #todo or /blameless follow up into the incident Slack channel and write a brief description to create the follow-up action item.
If the action item needs to be created into a different project from the parent ticket, you can also use the Blameless webapp to create the JIRA action item into the appropriate JIRA project.
Updating an incident or follow-up item in Blameless and JIRA: Once you’ve assigned follow-up tasks in Blameless, you’ll need to track completion. Blameless helps with this, too. When you update follow-up action items in JIRA, the updates will also reflect in Blameless.
A typical incident lifecycle in JIRA and Blameless
Let’s walk through what an incident looks like in Blameless and in JIRA. Imagine that you’ve received an alert that your API is loading slowly. You integrate with one of our paging integrations. This integration triggers your incident in Blameless, which then automatically spins up a Slack channel, Zoom meeting room, and JIRA ticket. The Blameless slackbot adds the defined users/groups to the incident channel. The role of incident commander is assigned to the person who is primary on-call.
As you work through the incident, you uncover tasks that you need to do after the incident is complete. You don’t have time to complete it immediately, but you don’t want to forget it either. You type in your task and then #todo. This creates a follow-up task in both Blameless and JIRA under the parent task.
You continue investigating the incident, and after 30 minutes, you’ve mitigated it. As you work through the incident retrospective, you uncover more items to add as follow-ups. You create them within the webapp, assign them, and set the status to investigating. As teammates complete these tasks, the updated statuses in Blameless are also synced in JIRA.
Imagine you also want to create a ticket separate from the incident’s parent ticket. You can create this separate ticket in JIRA from Blameless as well.
Later, you can refer to the Blameless record to see which action items have been completed. This way, you can ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Benefits of integrating JIRA and Blameless
Together, JIRA and Blameless synchronize real-time incident coordination while creating a system of accountability that feeds back into your software development lifecycle. This results in many benefits:
- Eliminate toil: Ensure real-time incident data and follow-up actions are captured in the moment with Blameless, while seamlessly syncing data into JIRA as your system of record. No more copying and pasting things like incident priority and action items between tools.
- Create follow-up actions: Add in tasks as you think of them during an incident, as well as afterwards. Blameless will associate follow-up actions with the parent ticket.
- Accurate reporting on follow-up item completion: Use Blameless to report on action item completion. Filter on incomplete action items by incident, tag, customer, and more.
- Better communication between engineering teams and product: By ensuring that all follow-up actions are captured in both JIRA and Blameless, you can sort through action items to determine where development efforts would be best spent. This also helps product prioritize accordingly.
Best practices of using JIRA with Blameless
To make the most out of Blameless’ JIRA integration, follow these 3 best practices:
- Add action items to Blameless first. This helps keep everyone on the same page, drives real-time coordination, and prevents tickets falling through the cracks. It also keeps all information associated with an incident in one place.
- Create tagging in Blameless that matches your JIRA tags. Having a standard nomenclature helps minimize cognitive load between tools. Additionally, using the same vernacular between development and product helps communication.
- Add follow-up tasks as you think of them, and revise and assign during the retrospective. Nobody wants to forget an action item. Add action items to the list of follow-ups as soon as you think of it. After all, an idea might never become quite as fresh again in your head as during an incident itself. You can always refine and assign later once you have a better idea of how to prioritize.
If you’re interested in setting up the Blameless/JIRA integration, check out our integration guide.
If you want to see more of Blameless in action, check out the following:
Originally published at https://www.blameless.com.