Leveraging Oncall / Rotations on Slack

Falit Jain
February 12, 2024
5 min read

Leveraging Oncall / Rotations on Slack

In the fast-paced world of technology, where customer satisfaction hinges on timely solutions and efficient triage of technical issues, support rotations have emerged as a vital component of modern engineering setup.

These rotations ensure that skilled personnel are readily available during work hours to address customer concerns, perform necessary migrations, and undertake critical tasks. To maximize the effectiveness of support rotations, forward-thinking organizations are embracing modern tools and strategies that promote efficiency and collaboration within R&D teams.

The Essential Role of On-Call Rotations On-call rotations play a vital role within product companies. They act as a bridge between technical expertise and customer service, ensuring that customer issues are rapidly addressed by knowledgeable individuals. This approach not only reduces response times but also boosts customer satisfaction, as customers feel valued when their concerns are resolved promptly.

Paging Tools : PagerDuty, Opsgenie etc

Leveraging advanced paging tools like PagerDuty and Opsgenie, organisations creates real-time alerts . These tools enable teams to swiftly identify and address critical issues, minimizing downtime and optimizing operational efficiency. By automating alerts, these platforms empower teams to proactively manage incidents, ensuring round-the-clock coverage and maintaining service excellence. Teams are also utilising these tools to create oncall rosters.

Slack As the Hub for Collaboration

Collaboration flourishes within the dynamic ecosystem of Slack, where teams unite to share insights, discuss strategies, and drive projects forward. With channels dedicated to specific topics, departments, or projects, Slack becomes a hub for real-time discussions, file sharing, and knowledge exchange. This includes in-depth discussions and collaborative efforts to identify, troubleshoot, and resolve bugs and incidents swiftly, leveraging the platform’s capabilities for efficient problem-solving and knowledge sharing.

Oncalls and Slack

In a dynamic operational environment, knowing the current on-call personnel is vital for swift incident resolution. Tagging the correct on-call member on Slack ensures that critical issues are directed to the right person promptly, preventing delays and minimizing disruptions.

This practice not only streamlines communication within engineering teams but also extends to non-engineering functions like product and customer success.

By clearly indicating who to tag for on-call matters on Slack, cross-functional teams can ensure effective collaboration and accelerate issue resolution.

Issues with Existing Solutions

Google Sheets

Sheets can be used to maintain a centralized on-call schedule. This spreadsheet can include details such as team members’ names, contact information, shift timings, and rotation patterns. By linking this Google Sheet to Slack channels, teams can quickly access up-to-date scheduling information without leaving their communication platform.

Manually finding out Oncall

Or Teams find the current oncall manually by going to the scheduling tool, and tagging the current oncall on Slack. This cumbersome process gets broken when any product or customer support team need to mention any oncall on a conversation.

Enter Pagerly: Revolutionizing On-Call Rotations through Seamless Integration

Amidst the challenges posed by manual maintenance of on-call rotations using spreadsheets, a beacon of innovation has emerged to address these issues head-on. Pagerly, a Slack App designed to sync user groups with on-call schedules, has ushered in a new era of streamlined on-call management .

Seamless Integration with User Groups

Pagerly’s innovative approach lies in its ability to seamlessly integrate with user groups within Slack. By directly linking Slack’s user groups with on-call schedules, Pagerly eliminates the need for teams to manually update rotations. This integration means that as team memberships change, Pagerly automatically updates the on-call schedule in real-time, ensuring accuracy and relieving teams of the burdensome task of manual upkeep.

Automated Synchronization

Gone are the days of painstakingly adding and removing team members from spreadsheets. With Pagerly, the process of adjusting on-call rotations becomes a breeze. Team managers and administrators can effortlessly manage user groups within Slack, and these changes are automatically reflected in the on-call schedule. This automated synchronization minimizes the risk of errors and accelerates the response time to critical incidents.

Updated Slack Channel Topics

In Slack, channel topics serve as a brief summary of the ongoing discussion or focus of a particular channel. Pagerly leverages this functionality to provide an at-a-glance view of the current on-call personnel for a specific team or project. By automatically updating the channel topic with the names of the individuals currently on-call, Pagerly ensures that entire organisation including product and customer support members are always informed about the responsible parties without having to leave their communication platform.

Grouping Multiple Oncalls Together

Some incidents require the expertise of multiple teams to be resolved effectively. With this feature, you can bring together developers, operations, and support teams in one go, enabling faster and more coordinated incident resolution.

With Pagerly, you can configure MultiMention Teams, with which you can mention multiple oncalls together

Ex : Use @frontend-oncall mentions @andriod-oncall, @ios-oncall, @web-oncall

Conclusion A New Era of On-Call Management

In a landscape where digital systems and services never sleep, the importance of efficient on-call rotations cannot be overstated. The challenges posed by traditional spreadsheet methods have paved the way for innovative solutions like Pagerly. By integrating with Slack’s user groups, Pagerly provides a solution that eliminates manual maintenance woes, enhances clarity, and preserves flexibility. This integration ensures that teams can address incidents with speed, accuracy, and confidence, ushering in a new era of streamlined on-call management. As organizations continue to evolve in the digital age, tools like Pagerly offer a glimpse into the future of incident response, where automation, collaboration, and efficiency reign supreme.

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Software Engineering
Customer Success

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