North American Network Operators Group|
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Re: how to write an incident report
On Sat, 20 Oct 2007, Joe Abley wrote: > I've had a few responses like this, but I don't buy it. I've worked > in many places, some in New Zealand and more elsewhere, where there > was a general culture of fear about making public statements about > operational incidents. I don't ever remember people sending proposed > text to legal and having it pushed back with changes; what happened > instead was that text wasn't written in the first place. Of course it wasn't, the only time public statements beyond the simple "Network Status" update are made is when the outage is so huge that the news media report it. Then the idea is to spin the problem as a freak occurrence that no amount of money and planning (which the company of course spent years and millions doing) would have prevented. Legal and PR are going to take one look at the report and then ask what the upside for the company is in releasing it. In most cases there will be none so it won't happen. Techs know this so don't even bother. In reality a large percentage of outages happen for "dumb" reasons and publicising them just makes the company look bad (look at the previous fault on the page). Look at this Citylink outage, I'm sure the sales guys for rival companies are right now working on their pitches for their customer's business based on that has been posted. "Look at these guys, they took down half the city and still don't know it wasn't caused by hackers. Half the government was offline  all day because they couldn't even get into their building after hours. Their phones were off, their mail servers stopped working, they couldn't login to their network themselves, and their websites were offline. They've been having these sort of outages on a smaller scale for years and just ignored them because they only affect one or two customers at a time."  Roughly: Beehive = Whitehouse, RBNZ = Federal reserve, Bowen St = Parliament. > Maybe Simon's level of detail is such that no legal department would > ever condone it. But there's such a tremendous distance between > Simon's text and the usual "there are no known issues at this time" > that I suspect people just aren't trying. Well I was pleasantly surprised at 365 Main's explanation of the problem a while back. http://www.365main.com/press_releases/pr_8_1_07_365_main_report.html but once again that was a major event that couldn't be hidden. Citylink is a slightly unusual company in it's level of openness (although getting less so) but I would guess that most people on this list would be fired if they posted something like Simon's text without running it by legal. -- Simon Lyall | Very Busy | Web: http://www.darkmere.gen.nz/ "To stay awake all night adds a day to your life" - Stilgar | eMT.