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ChatOps and Incident Management: Tips to Expand Microsoft Teams Capabilities

Daria Yankevich
February 12, 2024
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How can the most popular ChatOps tool be used to manage incidents and resolve them faster? We gathered helpful tips that should help you reduce MTTR.

ChatOps in DevOps

ChatOps has played a significant role in DevOps evolution and is often used to describe communication-driven development. ChatOps is an evolved model of operations wherein the tasks that typically require switching between different tools or screens are brought together in a chat tool. This means the creation, implementation, and usage of scripts, tools, and commands are performed in a single, chat-based interface.

The beauty of ChatOps in DevOps lies in its simplicity. Rather than working through multiple complex platforms or channels, engineers work from chat, a platform that most are already familiar with and use daily. This real-time collaboration increases productivity as team members share knowledge, feedback, and learn from executed commands. It fosters transparency as every detail is shared, recorded, and easily traceable. It effectively boosts teams' ability to detect, react to, and recover from failures.

Use Microsoft Teams for Incident Management

In 2023, Microsoft Teams had 320 million users. It has risen in popularity rapidly, especially after the global shift towards remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Microsoft Teams offers a broad range of integration with other applications, both within and outside the Microsoft ecosystem. Users can embed services like GitHub, Trello, or ilert directly into the Teams' interface, resulting in a unified workspace.

One of the key usage scenarios of Microsoft Teams in DevOps is the integration with Azure DevOps. By integrating Azure DevOps with Teams, updates about pull requests, commits, work items, and build events can be automatically posted to specified Teams channels. This enhances the visibility of work being done, keeps everyone informed about the ongoing processes, and promotes rapid feedback within the team. All these contribute heavily to further Microsoft Teams' growth among DevOps specialists.

ilert integrates with various chat tools, including Microsoft Teams, to enable DevOps teams to collaborate quickly and resolve incidents. Engineers can use ilert integration to take care of the full incident lifecycle — from alert acknowledgment to issue resolution — without leaving Microsoft Teams. Let's check if you are aware of all ilert ChatOps features and use Microsoft Teams to its' full capacity.

Send critical alerts to a responsible team chat. While you can use various channels to notify on-call personnel directly, we recommend additionally sending critical alerts to a chat where all team members can see the issue. This enables quick collaboration and keeps everyone in the loop. So the incident responder doesn't have to waste time and bring colleagues up to speed. Follow the instructions if you haven't yet linked Microsoft Teams and ilert.

Quickly Start Microsoft Teams meeting when the issue arises. With ilert, you can enrich alerts sent to Microsoft Teams with an option to create an online meeting. Additionally, you can specify which alerts should include the "Create Microsoft Teams Meeting" feature and which don't. Learn how to enable this incident action.

Create a private chat for alerts to keep the discussion private. Security-related alerts can be very sensible, as they can include private data, critical product vulnerabilities, and lead to serious reputational risks. If luck wasn't on your side and such an alert arose, you can always create a private dedicated Microsoft Teams chat and include only a limited number of specialists.

Simplify the access to on-call schedules via Microsoft Teams. You can configure the bot so that other chat tool users can quickly check who is currently responsible for critical alerts. For huge enterprise companies, this feature can save dozens of minutes of back-and-forth emailing in fruitless attempts to find an on-call team.

Enable team members to report incidents from Microsoft Teams. With ilert, you can use the chat tool as an alert source, too. This way, your colleagues can report the issues to on-call engineers. You can activate this feature for all Microsoft Teams users within your workspace or for ilert users only.

Use information posted in Microsoft Teams during an incident for later postmortem creation. With ilert, you can do so automatically by going to the list of resolved incidents, choosing the incident for which you want to create a postmortem, and choosing "Generate post postmortem" in front of the magic stick icon.

Read more on ilert blog:

A Practical Introduction to Incident Management Metrics

Incident Management KPIs – what really matters

On-call compensation in IT

Other blog posts you might like:

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AI-Assisted Incident Management Communication

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Mastering IT Alerting: A Short Guide for DevOps Engineers

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