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TWL: John Hall on Swarming To Avoid the Painful 3-Tier Support Model

No matter which side of the trouble ticket you find yourself, I'm going to assume you hate the escalations, delays, and inevitable confusion. In this edition of Talks We Like, John Hall does a great job of proposing the Lean-inspired model of "Swarming" to avoid the pains of the traditional 3-tier support model (level 1, level 2, and level 3 responders).

While John's primary frame of reference for this talk is that of customer support, the lessons are equally applicable to Operations and SRE. After all, no matter who the "customer" is, the response is humans mobilizing to solve failures and unexpected behavior in complex systems.

This talk is "The Problem of Becoming 3rd-Line Support Team (and Why Swarming Works Better for DevOps)" from DevOps Enterprise Summit 2018 in Las Vegas:

 

 

What I liked about this talk:

  • John did an excellent job of poking holes in the "conventional wisdom" of the 3-tier model and laying out the pros of the swarming model.
  • The impact on how swarming not only produces better results for customers but also dramatically increases internal learning (further reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction)
  • At Rundeck, we support the exploration of new ways of working that will make life better for Operations professionals and improve outcomes for those who Operations supports.