When business service disruptions are highly visible over prolonged periods, customer backlash can ruin your company’s reputation. Mitigating material brand damage requires your company to have an incident response plan that also addresses the needs of the business during those critical disruptions.

Business Incident Response is an application of PagerDuty’s Incident Response framework for non-technical response to mitigating business impact from severe technical incidents. This guide focuses on the business operations that should occur in parallel, while technical responders work to resolve severe technical incidents. Business incident response consists of two primary functions: transitioning normal business operations into emergency business operations mode, and managing proactive communications with both external customers and internal stakeholders.

Who Is This For?#

This resource is for non-technical business leaders who want to establish incident response plans to protect business interests during severe technical incidents.


This guide presumes that your organization already has a technical incident response plan in active use. The functions and roles described in this guide are in addition to--not in replacement of--the practices used for technical incident response. This guide must be used in tandem with that response plan and it cannot be used effectively in a standalone fashion.

What Is Covered?#

First, you should understand what specifically constitutes a business incident.

Before an business incident#

This is a set of considerations to help you prepare a response plan well in advance, before a business incident occurs.

During an incident#

The process to follow during a business incident.

After an incident:#


This documentation is provided under the Apache License 2.0. In plain English that means you can use and modify this documentation and use it both commercially and for private use. However, you must include any original copyright notices, and the original LICENSE file.

Whether you are a PagerDuty customer or not, we want you to have the ability to use this documentation internally at your own company. You can view the source code for all of this documentation on our GitHub account, feel free to fork the repository and use it as a base for your own internal documentation.