3 ways you are damaging your career as a Major Incident Manager

A career in Major Incident Management is exciting and can be high profile. You engage with nearly all of the Operational staff at different stages, with your communications reaching the entire End User community, including C-suite Executives.

Whilst the role can be thrilling, it is also easy to let a few bad habits seriously impact on your credibility and career. Here are 3 common mistakes to keep a check on and avoid:


1 . Don’t think win/lose, think win/win

It can be difficult to strike the right balance; your primary objective is to restore normal service operations as quickly as possible, and often that means being assertive.

However being too dominant with Technical Staff might get you the result you need for this Major Incident, but can cause damage to your long- term relationships. Major Incident Management is a team sport and to succeed everyone needs to be onboard and performing at their best, not just for the immediate major incident but on all future major incidents.

Learning the different communication styles of others and how best to engage with them will see your major incident mean time to resolve (MIMTTR) drop significantly as you perform more effectively as a team.


2. Don’t keep making the same mistakes

Mistakes happen. End Users, Managers, Senior Exec’s, colleagues, are all often understanding of mistakes. However, even the most tolerant of people will lose their patience if the same mistakes keep happening over and over again. It might be something simple, like poor spelling and grammar (a major no-no, in the world of critical communications), or repeatedly failing to meet agreed communication update deadlines, or incorrectly capturing an impact, more than once. Whatever it is, when you recognise your mistake, own up to it, but have a plan in place to ensure it is not repeated and that best practice is put into place.


3. Don’t pass the blame

The best Major Incident Managers take full accountability for everything relating to a major incident. It ensures ownership and breeds excellence.

The Service Desk didn’t send you enough information, or a clear impact – you own the Major Incident Process, work to obtain the right information to deal with the immediate incident at hand and then afterwards, for the longer term, work with the Service Desk to help them improve their initial assessments of major incidents.

Technical staff made a mistake implementing a workaround and consequently made the impact worse – you own the major incident, it’s on you. Be honest, put plans in place to help limit the frequency of such errors, but protect the Technical Staff and own the consequence.

Major Incident Management is a leadership role and therefore you are responsible for everything during a major incident, whether or not it was you who independently caused an issue. Total ownership is difficult, as is cultivating such a culture, but it is the best way to behave in order to build trust between teams, encouraging you and your team to always take proactive action for collective success.


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