Migrating a Monolith Support System to Event Driven Support

In the first 13 years of my IT career I would build customer facing systems that would be supported by three levels of support. Level 1, Help Desk and Command Center monitoring teams, Level 2, Escalation Teams, and eventually a Level 3 team which was comprised of the project teams or the owners of technologies. Before the project was released I would build knowledge articles that would provide solutions for every error scenario that I found in test. This was a great process because the Level 1 and 2 teams would in turn build out knowledge articles when they would encounter new errors that I had not found in test.

At the same time this structure provided some faults. Tickets would be escalated for non technical reasons such as an analyst could not find the knowledge article or did not understand the error. This process also assumed that when a customer had an error that they preferred to call someone and explain their error. The final assumption with this model was that every error was unique and could only be solved by a manual intervention.

Now I am building solutions that are two tiered in nature where the first tier is self service. The first tier is made up of self correcting errors or a self service model. Within a self correcting error a back end system receives the error looks within a table and finds the appropriate solution then executes. Within a self service model a user understands the error and attempts to resolve by themselves. If the first tier fails then the second tier is implemented. Within the second tier a customer speaks directly with the product team to resolve the issue. I try to build systems in this second tier similar to the Netflix model whereby “Each team is now wholly responsible for coding, testing and resolving any issues on their own work, which incentivizes and has led to more robust applications being built.” Within this model product teams are able to see where and what issues customers are facing and improve their products.

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