PagerDuty Incident Response Documentation

Incident Response at PagerDuty

This documentation covers parts of the PagerDuty Incident Response process. It is a cut-down version of our internal documentation, used at PagerDuty for any major incidents, and to prepare new employees for on-call responsibilities. It provides information not only on preparing for an incident, but also what to do during and after. It is intended to be used by on-call practitioners and those involved in an operational incident response process (or those wishing to enact a formal incident response process). See the about page for more information on what this documentation is and why it exists.

Don't know where to start?

If you're new to incident response and don't yet have a formal process in your organization, we recommend looking at our Getting Started page for a quick list of things you can do to begin.

Being On-Call#

If you've never been on-call before, you might be wondering what it's all about. These pages describe what the expectations of being on-call are, along with some resources to help you.

  • Being On-Call - A guide to being on-call, both what your responsibilities are, and what they are not.
  • Alerting Principles - The principles we use to determine what things page an engineer, and what time of day they page.

Before an Incident#

Reading material for things you probably want to know before an incident occurs. You likely don't want to be reading these during an actual incident.

  • What is an Incident? - Before we can talk about incident response, we need to define what an incident actually is.
  • Severity Levels - Information on our severity level classification. What constitutes a SEV-3 vs SEV-1? What response do they get?
  • Different Roles for Incidents - Information on the roles during an incident; Incident Commander, Scribe, etc.
  • Incident Call Etiquette - Our etiquette guidelines for incident calls, before you find yourself in one.
  • Complex Incidents - Our guide for handling larger, more complex incidents.

During an Incident#

Information and processes during a major incident.

After an Incident#

Our followup processes, how we make sure we don't repeat mistakes and are always improving.


So, you want to learn about incident response? You've come to the right place.

Training Guides#

Training Courses#

Additional Resources#

Useful material and resources from external parties that are relevant to incident response.

  • Reading - Recommended reading material relevant to incident response.
  • ChatOps - Description of the chat bot commands we've referenced in this documentation.
  • Anti-Patterns - List of things we've tried and then rejected, learn from our mistakes.