Event Best Practice Guide
Events / Event Best Practice Guide

This support document is meant to provide a best practice guide for StatusDashboard administrators who are tasked with creating and managing events (both incidents and scheduled maintenance) on the StatusDashboard platform.  The document is broken into several different topic areas that deal with the different components of event management.

Event Lifecycle

One of the most important concepts around event management and communication is the event lifecycle - the stages that an event goes through from the time it starts to the time it ends.  For incident events, the lifecycle is typically: Investigating > Identified > Monitoring > Resolved.  For maintenance events, the lifecycle is typically: Planning > Started > In Progress > Verifying > Completed.  It is important to keep the event lifecycle correctly sequenced and documented because this lifecycle is displayed on the dashboard homepage, on the dashboard event details pages and is also broadcast through notification methods like email.  If the lifecycle is missing certain stages, or is out of sequence, it can cause confusion among your user population and create lack of trust for your status updates.  A full description of the different event lifecycle stages can be found in our events documentation.

Event Updates

Whenever an event is updated, it is important to enter a textual update message (whether or not the lifecycle stage is updated) before saving any changes.  If a textual update is not entered when updating the event, then the event timeline will not be updated and will be missing important information.  For example, if an incident event is in the Monitoring stage and you update the event to the Resolved stage without entering a textual update, then the event will appear resolved on the dashboard, but the detailed event timeline will be confusing because your users will not know any details about how the event was resolved.  It is generally best to utilize all of the lifecycle stages for an event, and provide a textual update when each change is made.  When adding event updates that occur after an event is resolved/closed, it is best to use the Informational Update lifecycle stage option as this does not change the event status. 

Maintenance Events

Scheduled Maintenance events are typically known about in advance and should always be created in the planning state.  Unless there is a good reason not to do so, scheduled maintenance events should utilize the Automatic Start/End option which will automatically start and stop the maintenance event according to the event start/stop times.  Starting and stopping the maintenance event on time and on schedule helps to build confidence among your end users, and relieves your engineers from the need to manually start/stop the maintenance so they can focus on their technical work.  Additionally, in order to provide additional visibility into planned maintenance events, you are encouraged to enable the Planned Maintenance content module on your dashboard, positioned above the dashboard.

Still have questions?  Contact our support team.  We're always happy to help with any questions you might have.