Outage communication plan template

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Crafting an IT Outage Communication Plan

IT professionals do not spend much time sending communications directly to customers. But what about unplanned service interruptions that happen at 4am and require immediate action? These are the times when proper and effective communication to the customer is crucial. If you do not already have a template in place, you can use the following guidelines to craft one today. Send Immediately — If your customers have not already realized the outage or disruption, they will soon. This will give them the confidence that you are in control and doing everything you can to restore services. Quality over Quantity — Get to the point. Try to be more like a stop sign and less like a singing telegram. Depending on how disrupted your customers are, they may not have the time to read through non-essential details. Therefore, it serves no purpose to give excuses or point fingers. Be honest about what the issue is and then go back to working on a resolution. No Need For Apologies — You may genuinely feel bad for the customers who are affected by the system outage but telling them how sorry you are will do nothing to resolve the issue or make them feel any better. However, no matter how nice you are, they will still be without some service that is necessary or critical to their business. The information and layout you choose for your system outage notification will vary based on your unique business needs, customer type, industry, and other factors. However, there is a general outline that most notifications follow. Example: One of our data centers has been experiencing problems since approximately a. Users on shared server plans may be unable to access their server s during this time. Example: Our engineers are working resolve the issue. Once the issue has been resolved, we will email all users. Skip to content. Professional Services Quote Request. Quote Public Training. On-Site Remote. NEW Quote General. Quote General Quote General.

Best Practices in Outage Communication

Our Guarantee. Money back if not fully satisfied. Top Sellers. General Checklists. Database Checklists. Your Company is in Phase. This eShop is operated by Services Concept Whitepapers. This template with in-depth explanations of tasks required to plan outages on medium to large IT Systems will avoid that important steps are foregotten. The initial, one-off step when using this generic template is to customize the template for your organization, e. Sometimes the templates and checklists might be reformatted according company standards. Afterwards this customized template is available for planning individual outages. But in this case you already know about the complexity of planning and coordinating outages. Secondary use of this document: When a new, very important IT system is just in the planning phase, then use this generic document and customize it for your new system. This exercise will validate related information which needs to be part of the operations manual or help to complete this important system specific information in the operations manual. The new software release is fully tested, new hardware parts are delivered. Initiating the outage planning, typically by using a form which contains first information about system which should be shut down. Some systems might be strongly affected as they access the application for which the outage is planned during normal processing. Other systems might be less affected, but they might receive their nightly data update later, or one of their jobs is in a job-chain which will be started delayed due to the outage. This section summarizes all details identified in the evaluation step and helps to better understand the end-to-end impact of shutting down one single application. Missing such dates might postpone the outage for another week. It is obvious that the process of requesting and planning the outage needs to be initiated sufficient time in advance. Answer: A "High Available HA " Solution strives to eliminate unplanned outages caused by hardware failures, but usually does not support upgrades without downtime.

Template Emergency Communication Plans and IPAWS

Many of the leading technology companies have begun to transparently discuss outages with their customers, and there are a number of good business reasons for doing so. Regardless of your approach, here are 6 things you can do to ensure successful customer communication during outages. The initial notification can take many forms: a maintenance page on your website, social media post or update to your Status Page, or perhaps just an internal outage communication to your customer support team. Not every incident requires widespread disclosure, but if your outage is affecting your clients, you should get your initial communication out as quickly as possibly. Proactive communication can stave off a mob of irate users and helps you get ahead of the problem. Make sure you have a reliable system that lets you know as soon as something breaks. We obviously have strong opinions in this area, but getting ahead of the problem is a crucial part of customer communication. However, as more information becomes available, be sure to let customers know the root. A sanitized summary is fine here. You can save detailed technical messaging for your internal team. Image source. Make sure you set the right tone. Be concise, authoritative, and serious. Your customers will not appreciate you being jokey or cute when their business is affected. Blaming external forces for your outage sends the message that you are not in control. However, proactively letting customers know about the incident can go a long way to build customer trust. Customers value honesty, and, in fact, talking about your outages might generate sales as it will grow your image as a forthright business partner. Keeping them up to date signals that you are in control and that you are handling the issue efficiently. However, bad word of mouth will do the same thing, and can ultimately be more damaging to your business. If transparency is the route you choose, there are a number of ways you can get the word out. For your top customers, it may be worthwhile to be proactive, and reach out to them personally. Especially in the event of an outage, quick responses are important to reassure customers. Status pages, like StatusPage. They give your customers and internal support teams a single, authoritative place to figure out what is going on. PagerDuty and StatusPage. Depending on severity, you may want to go further. Social media offers a widespread platform for communicating with your customers.

Crafting an IT Outage Communication Plan

We use cookies to ensure that we provide you with the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, you are agreeing to receive all cookies on the Copper website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. To find detailed information about how cookies are used on this website click Find out more. Got It. Want to hear a scary statistic? Because you already have the potential to lose so much, keeping customers loyal and happy should be your number one priority. So, what are some of the best ways to keep your customers in the loop while making sure you tackle the outage at hand? Here are a few outage communication best practices to follow to keep both your support team members and customers smiling. When a few similar reports start to roll in from customers having trouble, it can be really tempting to sound the alarm or automatically lump them together. Take the time to bring the reports from customers to your engineering team before making any decision on action. Acting too quickly could lead you to spread misinformation, frustrate customersand cause even more pain than necessary in your outage process. Not only that, it also gives your customers a place where they can go and check for outages or service impacts without having to contact your customer service team. InStatuspage had one customer that had 15, hits to their page each second during an outage—imagine if all of those people were coming through via email! A good rule of thumb is to update your status page every 20 minutesand keep your updates in language that's clear and not overly complicated to your end-user. Clarity, brevity, and transparency are super important—especially when it comes to communicating about outages. Here are some examples of how to do it:. Some companies also opt to send out an email explaining the outage to anyone who might be running into trouble. Twilio : This status page not only includes detailed information about the status of each service and any past incidents, but it also includes helpful links to get help if you need to contact support:. Olark : This status page is straightforward and easy to read. It also makes it simple for teams to subscribe to updates. Shopify: This status page breaks down the Shopify services into an easy-to-understand list. So, how can you communicate people on a personal level, while also being efficient with your time? Create a uniform saved reply also known as an email template that all of your customer service representatives can use that includes the following information:. Using automation, you can also use your emailing platform Mailchimp is a popular one, or you could just hook up your CRM to Gmail. This is useful because it gives your team a way to track the impact of the outage, and also ensures that you can keep track of everyone who reached out. Keeping everyone in the loop as the issue progresses or changes is so important, and being able to look at all the conversations that've been labelled with a specific tag is a great way to do this. Borrow, edit and use as needed!

Template for IT Outage Planning and Notification

The 5, staff and 15, associates worldwide were distributed across 16 countries, speaking multiple languages. Effectively communicating with all staff given this structure was naturally difficult. He was also keen to gauge message success by tracking how many employees have seen the messages. Towers Watson have been using SnapComms Desktop Alerts since August as a mechanism for updating staff about high-priority IT outages and notifications. Desktop alerts are ideally-suited to this, being designed for high impact to get employee attention immediately, whatever screens or devices employees use — desktop, mobile or digital signage. The IT team at Towers Watson has developed a set of branded IT outage notification templates for their desktop alerts, based on a simple traffic light system. Three of the templates are used for incident management — a new notification has a red theme, an update is gold and the closure of that issue is green. The fourth template is plum and is used to communicate upcoming work which might result in service interruption. They use simple, jargon-free communications in English rather than trying to translate more technical information into local languages. This focus on simplicity, quality and consistency has made desktop alerts highly effective in conveying the status of system outages to Towers Watson staff and third-party IT service providers in multiple locations and different time zones. While they could use it for other internal communications, they choose not to, and have restricted management of the tool to administrators globally. Send a brief description of your communication requirements, and we'll get back to you with a personalized demo experience! Location United Kingdom Number of Employees 5, staff and 15, associates across 16 countries. Background Towers Watson is a leading global professional services company that helps organizations improve performance in the areas of benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk and capital management. The firm employs over 15, associates worldwide. His team manages the resolution and internal communication of all service-impacting incidents, as well as delivering IT service management, on-site support and network services. Tools Implemented. Application The IT team at Towers Watson has developed a set of branded IT outage notification templates for their desktop alerts, based on a simple traffic light system. Results Good design, quality and consistency in messaging and offering flexibility to users have resulted in a lot of positive feedback about the desktop alerts. Be part of the movement for greater communication at work. We're here to help. Contact Us.

Project Management: Creating a Communications Plan

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