Weekly Alternating Schedule/Escalation Policy Setup

I have two teams; one located in India and the other in the US. I’d like to setup a schedule/escalation as follows:

Week 1 - Monday thru Friday

  • India on call 04:00 - 12:00 (primary escalation)
  • US on call 12:00 - 17:00 (secondary escalation)

Week 2 - Monday thru Friday

  • India on call 04:00 - 08:00 (secondary escalation)
  • US on call 08:00 - 17:00 (primary escalation)

and repeat this alternating cadence.

How would I configure this within Pagerduty schedules and escalation policies.

Thanks in advance for your support in the configuration.

Hey Mike,

Thanks for submitting your question. Before we dive in too deep, it would be helpful if you could confirm the timezone you are referring to. Are all of the times you outlined in the same time zone?

Additionally, when you say primary and secondary, are you hoping to have these schedules running in congruence, or one after the other? Based on the times you outlined, it seems like the latter, but was hoping to get a better understanding of your usage of primary and secondary to make sure we are on the same page.

Lastly, it would be helpful to know how many users are on each team.

Look forward to hearing back from you.

Best,

Ryan Viera
Technical Support Specialist
PagerDuty.com

Hey Ryan,

Thanks for getting back with me.
All times are ET timezone 4am to 5pm ET Mon - Fri
Primary and secondary schedules would be a handoff at either 8am or 12pm ET.
Currently there are 3 people on each team but that can fluctuate and is not always equal in both locations.

Hope that helps clarify our use case a bit.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for those extra details.

One other piece of info that would be helpful to know is how long each individual User’s “shift” is. Is one person responsible for coverage for the full week on each team?

What it sounds like you’ll want to do is create two different schedule layers, one for India, one for US, and use the “Restrict on-call duty to specific times-of-the-week” option to designate each layer to only be scheduled at specific times.

For example, since you don’t need coverage from 5pm to 4am ET, you’ll need to use the restrict option so that someone isn’t on-call 24/7.

The downside of having someone not on call though is that if an incident is triggered during off hours, without anyone to assign it to, it will be completely dropped.

Then for the shift length, you can set that via the Rotation Type and Handoff time configuration.

Last thing worth mentioning is that having an uneven amount of users on each team may cause problems with the rotations (some people working more than others), but for now with 3 users each, it should be fairly easy to configure!

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Best,

Ryan Viera
Technical Support Specialist
PagerDuty.com

Thanks Ryan,

your comments all make sense and this is how we have it setup. The piece that is missing is how do we rotate primary and secondary every week. That is the part that we have not figured out how to configure.

Week 1 - Monday thru Friday

  • India on call 04:00 - 12:00 (primary escalation)
  • US on call 12:00 - 17:00 (secondary escalation)

Week 2 - Monday thru Friday

  • India on call 04:00 - 08:00 (secondary escalation)
  • US on call 08:00 - 17:00 (primary escalation)

How do we rotate or alternate schedule layers?

Hi Mike,

Having the schedules alternate every other week isn’t really feasible in a nice and easy way unfortunately.

One option would be to create a dummy user to take the place of the “off” week, but the downside of this is that it does incur and additional license cost.

The only other option I can think of for this use case would be to create 3 different Layers that represent portions of the total coverage time.

Layer 1 could be 4-8 consisting of Users in India, and Layer 2 could be 12-17 consisting of User in the US since these are constant. The area that gets a big tougher to manage is the 8-12 slot because sometimes that’s India’s responsibility, and sometimes it’s the US team.

What you could do here is create a 3rd Layer restricted from 8-12 M-F, and populate this with a mix of the India team and the US team. You will need to play around with the order a bit to meet your needs, but this will be the most cost effective option, but just may take a bit more manipulation during the set up to get it to your liking.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Best,

Ryan Viera
Technical Support Specialist
PagerDuty.com

Thanks Ryan,

This was helpful in resolving our schedule configuration issues.

Hey Mike,

Glad to hear that! Get in touch with us any time at support@pagerduty.com if you have any other questions!

-Ryan