Notification without acknowledgment


(Bill Carpenter) #1

I think this must be a common scenario, but I haven’t come across the right HOWTO or best practice or mind meld for how people handle it.

For one of our escalation policies, we want to get a bunch of people onto a conference bridge as soon as possible. Because those situations are always urgent, we have the usual PD retries.

How do I tell PD that I got the message and will do my duty? For example, on a phone notification, I am given two choices: acknowledge or resolve. Well, there is a third option, which is to hang up. If I acknowledge the incident, PD stops notifying people. Same thing if someone else acknowledges it. If I just hang up (and nobody else acknowledges it), PD calls me again and again for the retries.

What’s the solution?

(Dave Cliffe) #2

Hey Bill, great question, hopefully I can help to clarify.

We basically have 3 types of “urgent” notifications today:

  1. Get someone to own (be assigned to) the incident - typical ack/resolve choices (whoever acks first takes it).
  2. Bring additional responders to the incident - accept/decline to join the response (all responses are independent and don’t affect others).
  3. Notify subscribers about the incident - no response expected, just a link to the incident status page.

It sounds like you’re trying to automate a high-severity response, which would be best to leverage #2 above. Here’s a link to the relevant manual action to “Add Responders” - If you open a manual incident, you’ll also see the ability to add additional responders right from the creation of the incident. Expect to see an automated/policy-based version of that in the product very soon, too! Let me know if you might be interested in a beta of that.


Dave Cliffe, Product Team @ PagerDuty

(Bill Carpenter) #3

That looks like exactly what I want. I guess I didn’t use the right search terms to get it to crop up. Thanks, @cliffehangers. I’m petitioning our PD SMEs to look into it.

(Dave Cliffe) #4

You’re not alone! We can make this clearer, both in the product and docs. Thanks again for reaching out.

(Richie Trice) #5

So how would we create a simple “Service Alert Outage” incident that we would to let IT team members know of an issue that will impact their service example if upgrade a firewall or upgrading an internet connection?

I would assume the process would be such as above? Create an incident manually with a set escalation policy “Service Alert Outage”, but say we wanted it to go a step farther and want people to knowledge they got the notification?

(Dave Cliffe) #6

Hey Richie,

Really sorry for the late reply. The best way to solve your scenario is probably close to what you suggested: using a manually triggered incident with responders added to it to give them a heads up. Here’s the relevant doc for that:

Alternatively, if you didn’t care about receiving acknowledgements, another way to run it would be with our Incident Subscriber functionality (the 3rd type of notification I listed above): We definitely see customers using that to shout out an FYI to others before a major change, even though it’s not what it was primarily designed for.

Hope that helps,

– Cliffe


This thread has been helpful in pointing me to help topics to review. Subscriber sounds like what I am looking for. But in the heat of dealing with a high severity incident, I’d like to not have to depend on a person to manually add a subscriber. I’m looking for suggestions that can attach a subscriber to an incident automatically based on a criteria. Example criteria is after some period of time for an unresolved incident, a person or person based on a schedule becomes a subscriber automatically. I suspect this is asking for quite a bit. But thought best to describe the entire scenario and see how much of it is possible, or maybe planned in a future release? Might this be accomplished via an integration or extension?

(system) #8