Agile Operations: Incident Command for IT

agile, agile operations, agileoperations, disastercamp, emergencymanagement, ICS, incidentcommand, operations

A few months ago I started talking about “Agile Operations”, which is my adaptation of Incident Command to technology development and operations. Blaine Cook brought it up during the Web2.0 Expo Program Committee Meeting, and I realized that I hadn’t mentioned it here before.

I’m in the process of writing an introduction and some case-studies. I’m considering putting together a course.

(from wikipedia)
The Incident Command System (ICS) is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazard incident management concept. It is a management protocol originally designed for emergency management agencies and later federalized. ICS is based upon a flexible, scalable response organization providing a common framework within which people can work together effectively. These people may be drawn from multiple agencies that do not routinely work together, and ICS is designed to give standard response and operation procedures to reduce the problems and potential for miscommunication on such incidents.

ICS has been summarized as a “first-on-scene” structure, where the first responder on a scene has charge of the scene until the incident is resolved or the initial responder transitions incident command to an arriving, more-qualified individual.


ICS consists of procedures for controlling personnel, facilities, equipment, and communications. It is a system designed to be used or applied from the time an incident occurs until the requirement for management and operations no longer exist. ICS is interdisciplinary and organizationally flexible to meet the following management challenges:

  • Meet the needs of incidents of any kind or size.
  • Allow personnel from a variety of agencies to meld rapidly into a common management structure.
  • Provide logistical and administrative support to operational staff.
  • Be cost effective by avoiding duplication of efforts.

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One thought on “Agile Operations: Incident Command for IT

  1. As a veteran firefighter and technologist I have long applied the principals of ICS and more recently NIMS to the operations of my organizations. I would add that though the ICS is great in the fight one must remember to keep the troops liberally motivated off scene and that the titles on ones business cards does not always match whom one delegates responsibility to as the Incident Commander. That role goes to the most qualified to solve the problem at hand.

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