ACL Posts

The Career, Accomplishments, and Impact of Richard I. Cook: A Life in Many Acts

Multiple professional and research communities feel a profound loss at the death of Richard I. Cook. Richard died peacefully at home on August 31, 2022 in the loving care of his wife Karen and his family. Dr. Richard Cook was a polymath who excelled in multiple careers, usually simultaneously. A physician and anesthesiologist, he was […]

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What makes public posts about incidents different from analysis write-ups

We have written before that documents written about an incident can take many forms and structures, depending on the author(s), purpose, and target audience. The goal of this post is to describe what makes public-facing articles that companies publish about incidents different from internal write-ups representing an effective incident analysis, and a rationale for why

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Troubled Times: Episode 3

Demonstrating adaptability and the need for sustained adaptability Projections made in previous TT episode The projections made in Episode 2 are largely confirmed by experience during the summer. Private communications with individuals on these topics reveal substantial levels of stress and stress-related disturbances, notably sleep cycle disturbances, vivid dreaming, varying degrees of anhedonia, strained personal

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Troubled Times, Episode 2

Operators and Organizations Coping with Prolonged and Stressful Emergencies We’ve made some observations over the past month about how tech organizations are adjusting their practices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s still too early to synthesize these observations into what we might call “patterns” but some of them do appear to be taking

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Troubled Times, Episode 1

The Criticality of Sustaining the Deployment Pipeline During COVID-19 Much thanks to the members of the Learning From Incidents community who helped review and contribute to drafts of this post! The world is in crisis but I feel like the approach that tech companies around the world are taking to immediately add significant bureaucracy to

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Some Observations On the Messy Realities of Incident Reviews

1) Incident reviews serve multiple purposes. Some of these purposes are overt and explicit but many are not.  Some of these purposes cut across others in unproductive ways. Competing agendas reveal the power dynamics present in the organization. A manager who complains that too few action items were produced has revealed his/her real interest: the

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The Multiple Audiences and Purposes of Post-Incident Reviews

The conventional rationale for undertaking some form of post-incident review (regardless of what you call this process) is to “learn from failure.” Given without much more specifics and context, this is, for the most part, a banal platitude aimed at providing at least a bit of comfort that someone is doing something in the wake of these surprising

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