Automate incident management for Support, Operations, & IT Workflows with Jira Service Desk, Slack, Halp, & Power Scripts™ for Jira

Special guest Matthijs Van Leeuwen, a Slack-certified Solutions Engineer at Cprime discusses how to automate incident management for support, operations, and IT teams using Jira Service Desk, Slack, Halp, and Power Scripts™ for Jira.

Watch the webinar video or read the transcription below.

Video Transcription


Hi. I’m Matthijs Leeuwen and I’m a Slack certified solutions engineer for Cprime. Let’s get started. During the session we’ll be looking at the incident management game, some technology players that can enhance and accelerate your time and resolution, after which we’ll have a demo and Q&A session.

So as mentioned, the game is incident management and as you might have deduced from the agenda slide, we’ll be comparing this to a race. But not the race itself. Incident management has quite a few similarities with a specific element of racing. This element is the pit stop. Just like with incidents, pit stops used to only occur when something broke. However, over the years, pit stops have become an integral part of a lot of different racing disciplines. And just like the evolution of the pit stop, incidents have become a lot more than just a break-fix event.

Here we see a side-by-side view of a pit stop in 1950 and in 2008. And while there are a lot of similarities, there are also differences. An extreme difference that you can not see in the pictures is the time it takes to complete the pit stop. That’s why I broke that out here. Here we see the average pit stop time per year of formula one. The difference here is quite significant. The average pit stop in 1950 was 67 seconds. In 2008 this had been decreased to 5.5 seconds. While you can attribute some of these gains to improved processes and honing of skills, there is no denying that the biggest impact was made by advances in technology. And just like within racing, advances in technology around incident management can greatly improve the efficiency of your incident management processes. So let’s take a look at the impact that technology can make within the incident management game. And we’ll start by highlighting the applications we will be showcasing in today’s demo.

First up is Prometheus, an open-source monitoring and alerting solution that was originally developed by SoundCloud. We will be using Prometheus to monitor a server and trigger an alert when a specific threshold is met. This alert will be sent to Slack, one of the most well-known business communications and productivity platforms. As mentioned, we will be using Slack to receive the alert from Prometheus and more. Halp is the latest member of [inaudible 00:02:52] family and allows organizations to create service desk tickets directly from Slack conversations. This can greatly improve your user and agent experience and streamline the support process. And although Halp has built-in queue and ticket processing functionality, we will be using it to create a ticket in Jira service desk. Here we will transition to create a ticket through a JIRA incident management workflow. Within this workflow, we’ve used power scripts to execute specific custom scripts when the issue transitions.

The first script will create a Slack channel using the idea of the create a ticket. This will allow the incident management team to come together to swarm the incident and assist in keeping communication clear. Once the Slack channel has been created, a second script will be triggered to post an incident on our status page. Lastly, we will use a slash command in Slack to spin up a Zoom room from within the newly created Slack channel. This will allow the incident management team to communicate and discuss in real-time. So to break it down one more time, Prometheus will detect an error and post an alert in a dedicated Slack channel. A site reliability engineer will respond in Slack and use Halp to create a ticket directly from the alert message.

We will review the ticket in Jira Service Desk and transition it into a new status there. That transition will trigger to power scripts custom scripts that will create a Slack channel and status page incident. Finally, from within the created Slack channel, we’ll use a slash command to launch a Zoom room. Let’s race.

Screenshot of Prometheus monitoring system app.

All right. So for this demo, we will start by looking at the individual apps. We’re going to start with Prometheus and as you can see, right now Prometheus is not detecting any issues. I will trigger this performance issue manually in a minute. That will send an alert to this dedicated Slack channel where it will be converted into a ticket and sent to Jira Service Desk using Halp.

Alert in slack channel that will be converted into a ticket and sent to JIRA service desk using Halp

This is the Jira Service Desk that it will be sent to.

Jira service desk

We can find the incident that we will be creating by checking our active incidents filter. We currently have one active incident listed. Here we’ll see a new ticket arrive and then as that transitions through the workflow power scripts will create a dedicated Slack channel within the Slack environment and will update our status page with a new incident. So let’s get started.

First, we’ll go back to Prometheus and I’ll refresh the page.

We now see one alert has been triggered so let’s switch to Slack. And there’s our alert. It has already come through. So as mentioned, we can now use an emoji to turn this into a Halp and Jira Service Desk ticket. The emoji you use to trigger this process can be customized. Halp also allows you to trigger other actions using emojis.

So here we see the two replies we receive from Halp. One thing I really like is that the replies are created as threads limiting any noise in this channel.

Let’s take a look at the thread. Here we see that same alert, but now in the thread. Help’s first reply tells us a ticket has been created. Here’s the ticket ID with a hyperlink that can take me directly to the ticket in Jira Service Desk. Below is some information about the affected server, the alert, et cetera.

So let me start by sending a reply as the site reliability engineer or SRE. One of the key values of Halp is that it enables conversational ticketing and you’ll see the power of that in a second. The SRE can add any attachment, but for this example, I’ll add an image. I’ll add a comment to the message and click send.

Now that we’ve gone through this, let’s take a look at what this has done in JIRA. So let me click the search button. And there we have a new ticket called [iTick 00:06:57] 67.

If I open the ticket, we immediately see the attachment that I just added and we can see the individual messages that were sent within Slack. These have been captured and synchronized within the ticket as comments. So what it really does is it shows you how easy your conversations are now turned into tickets. And as mentioned, we will now actually take this one step further.

We’ll start by going back to Slack. Here we’ll search for our new ticket, [iTick 00:07:27] 67. As you can see, this doesn’t return any results. So let’s go back. Now we will click the investigate button. This will transition the ticket to the next step in the workflow.

As we see we’re now in a work in progress status and if we go back to Slack and perform our previous search, we now have a dedicated Slack channel named after our ticket that was created by Power Scripts™ for Jira.

The second script has run as well, which has created the incident on our status page as we see here.

Last, but not least I’ll join the channel as the SRE and spin up a Zoom room using the slash command.

And there you have it. This is how advances in technology can help your organization manage the pace of accelerating change. The software solutions shown today can automate and simplify complex processes, allowing your team to focus on getting the incident resolved and thus decreasing your meantime to resolution. Extreme efficiency gains using Prometheus, Help, Power Scripts, Slack, JIRA service desk, and Zoom.

And that’s it for today. Here’s my contact info if you’d like to reach out to me directly on LinkedIn. Please check out our calendar of upcoming webinars and other valuable resources on our website and we’ll see you next time.