Conducting Retrospectives

When an incident has been resolved, you can create a templated retrospective. FireHydrant automatically gathers the important details - timeline events, links, impacted components, assigned responders, and more - to make it as easy as possible to learn from incidents and keep responders focused.

Starting the retrospective

Although you can initiate the Retrospective from Slack, you'll need to head over to the FireHydrant Web UI to fully conduct this final stage of the incident.

/fh start retro   # Transitions incident to "Retrospectived Started" milestone



Starting the retro from Slack will transition the milestone to Retrospective Started, which also resolves the incident. This will happen regardless of what the current milestone is, so use with caution.

In the Incident Command Center UI, once the incident is resolved, the button at the top right turns into Start retrospective.

Starting the retrospective from Command Center

Starting the retrospective from the Command Center

Conducting the retrospective

Incident Retrospective

Incident Retrospective

The Retrospective, like the Command Center, has two sections: the main section and the timeline.

The main section contains the core content of the retrospective, separated into multiple tabs. You can work your way through all of the details and tabs one by one.


The timeline is to the right and is the same timeline shown in the Command Center. By default, it is filtered down to only Starred Events. Here, you can modify the filters to view other types of events, insert additional manual timeline events, and star or unstar events.



Only Starred Events will be exported to the final copies of the Retrospective in the PDF, Google Docs, or Confluence.


The Overview tab provides summaries of key information from the incident.

Milestones is a new section showing each status transition's timestamp, as well as the duration from the start of the incident for each milestone and the duration from the previous milestone. Milestone times can be edited by clicking the dropdown of the current milestone at the top, just as in the Command Center.

The rest of the sections - Description, Customer Impact, Impact, Responders, Tasks, Runbooks, Links, and other details are all of the same data and information as seen in the Command Center prior to resolving the incident.

Contributing Factors

Contributing factors tab in Retrospective view

Contributing factors tab in Retrospective view

These are the items that are seen as having led to the incident, or the "causes". Many of our customers do their "5 Whys" analysis here and also note down any other factors that could have contributed to starting this incident.

Discussing the Contributing Factors will often yield clear action items for the team to follow up on and prioritize for the next engineering sprint or cycle.

Lessons Learned

Example custom questions for Lessons Learned tab

Example custom questions for Lessons Learned tab

These are review questions to further contextualize data and information. FireHydrant ships with default questions, but these can be customized according to your organization's needs.

Often, organizations will use these fields to answer key, custom questions about their processes. In addition to these Lessons Learned, which tend to be more qualitative in nature, you can also configure Custom Fields to collect data. Read more about that here.

Tasks and Change Events

The Tasks and Change Events tabs are the same tabs as shown in Command Center. Here you can review all of the Tasks and Follow-ups that were created and assigned throughout the incident as well as check or manage any Change Events that were associated with the incident.

Publishing the retrospective

Retrospective publish modal

Retrospective publish modal

Once you've filled out the Retrospective, click Publish at the top right, which will open a modal to confirm. Here, FireHydrant automatically selects all of the involved personnel in the incident who will receive email notifications of the incident retrospective.

transition the incident to the final milestone: Retrospective Completed. This will automatically generate a PDF report of the retrospective, and if your organization has these Runbook steps configured, it will also export the report to Google Docs and Confluence.

Example PDF export

Example PDF export

Next Steps