Temporarily removing a user from on call schedules for vacation


(Jason Stangroome) #1

A PagerDuty user is taking a two week vacation. They are configured in at least five on call schedules.

It seems we need to note all the on call schedules they belong to, remove them manually from each schedule and then, when they return from vacation, we need ensure they are re-added to the relevant schedules correctly.

This feels tedious and error prone. Is there a better way?

I was hoping a user profile setting would allow them to be marked “unavailable” and have them omitted from all applicable schedules until the setting is reverted.

(Thomas Roach) #2

Hi Jason,

This is Tom from the PagerDuty support team. Thanks for reaching out!

Unfortunately, there isn’t a better way to go about this at the moment. You might find that using the API is a better approach, and you can read about this here.

However, I can certainly submit a feature request about this issue for you, if you could explain a bit more about what issues this feature would solve for you, and how you’d like it to be implemented?

Is there anything else I can to do be of assistance at the moment?

(Waldo G) #3

Hi, Jason,
Every place that I’ve worked, so as to not create a mess of managing on-call rotations, it’s been the vacationing engineer’s responsibility to provide replacement coverage for the shifts that that engineer is responsible for. Typically this takes the form of a one-to-one swap, but might require extra effort/juice if it involves a prime day (weekend, holiday, known-problem day, etc).

At that point, the engineer in question simply creates the relevant Overrides in the Pagerduty Schedule.

This involves no mucking about with the schedules, and places the onus on the Engineer in question. It’s simply a part of preparation for their vacation, along with managing expectations for deliverables that might be impacted by their time off.

(Alexandra Johnson) #4

I want to echo that this solution works for us as well. A large benefit is that it prevents future thrashing of the on call schedule, so all of the engineers will have stable on call rotations months out.

(Mihaly Rimoczi) #5

Maybe the best approach to remove the mobile phone number under ‘Notification Rules’ while the colleague is on vacation.

(Simon Fiddaman) #6

The user will still be assigned Incidents, but won’t be notified about them, leading to delays in progressing through the Escalation Policy or a failed / ended escalation to no-where (assigned to a user who will take weeks to acknowledge).

Overrides for each Schedule the user is assigned to is the best way to achieve this. The only possible exception is when you explicitly want to fall through that layer (e.g. you have a Sheriff handling requests during the day and over Christmas the night-time On-call should handle it) and for whatever reason you can’t just set a regular Override to make the night-time On-call the Sheriff for those days (or you have no further escalation and intend for alerts to be suppressed over that time in which case why not just turn off all monitoring?).

TL;DR if you can’t do it with Overrides you’re probably trying to do something really weird that’ll cause you lots of issues later, or you have too many Schedules that do the same thing and could/should condense them.

(system) #7

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