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> It’s far more important to have a ticketing system that functions reliably and supports your processes than the other way round.

The most efficient ticketing systems I have ever seen were heavily customized in-house. When they moved to a completely different product, productivity in addressing tickets plummeted. They stopped generating tickets to deal with it.

> After process, documentation is the most important thing, and the two are intimately related.

If you have two people who are constantly on call to address issues because nobody else knows how to deal with it, you are a victim of a lack of documentation. Even a monkey can repair a space shuttle if they have a good manual.

I partly rely on incident reports and issues as part of my documentation. Sometimes you will get an issue like "disk filling up", and maybe someone will troubleshoot it and resolve it with a summary comment of "cleaned up free space in X process". Instead of making that the end of it, create a new issue which describes the problem and steps to resolve in detail. Update the issue over time as necessary. Add a tag to the issue called 'runbook'. Then mark related issues as duplicates of this one issue. It's kind of horrible, but it seamlessly integrates runbooks with your issue tracking.




Even a monkey can repair a space shuttle if they have a good manual

I would like to point out that the dependency chain for repairing the space shuttle (or worse: microservices) can turn the need for understanding (or authoring) one document into understanding 12+ documents, or run the risk of making a document into a "wall of text," copy-paste hell, and/or out-of-date.

Capturing the contextual knowledge required to make an administration task straight-forward can easily turn the forest into the trees.

I would almost rather automate the troubleshooting steps than to have to write sufficiently specific English to express what one should do in given situations, with the caveat that such automation takes longer to write than said automation.


Yeah, that's exactly what we found - we created a JIRA project called 'DOCS', which made search trivial:

'docs disk filling up'




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