[Gllug] [OTish] Running an oncall rota

Phil Reynolds phil at tinsleyviaduct.com
Wed Jul 14 06:52:07 UTC 2010

Quoting "Steve Parker" <steve at steve-parker.org>:

> # Have realistic expectations of oncall response times. If you need  
> to guarantee that problems are attended to within 20-30 minutes then  
> you should be running an overnight shift, not oncall.
> Where I'm working, they have 15-minute response times, so people end  
> up dumping a half-full trolley of shopping in the supermarket to go  
> home and dial in to work, etc.  However, the volume is relatively  
> low (on average less than 1 call per shift), which would make it  
> very difficult to justify paying a sensible rate for a rota of  
> decent engineers, plus out-of-hours compensation, to deal with maybe  
> one issue per day; out-of-hours is 5x18h Monday-Friday plus 2x24h  
> weekend. That's 138 hours, or 3.5 full-time positions. Add to that,  
> they have a first-line and second-line support, so realistically 7  
> full-time positions to deal with maybe 5 out-of-hours incidents per  
> week.

Where I'm working, a similar situation applies. We do have a night  
shift, though, engaged in some upgrade work. However, the standard  
practice is to draw the on-call person from the night shift.

Our response time is normally 20 minutes. I have had to advise David  
that if I get a call, I will need to leave him to finish the shopping  
- it hasn't actually happened yet, though.

Tuesday as a changeover day? Interesting idea.

The first comment, from my old friend Flash Bristow, also covers some  
interesting points, such as a job possibly only needing one person.

Phil Reynolds
mail: phil at tinsleyviaduct.com
Web: http://www.tinsleyviaduct.com/phil/
Waltham 66, Emley Moor 69, Droitwich 79, Windows 95

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