Going through my morning routine drinking coffee and checking email I came across a tip on a computer system administrator focused mailing list with some practical advice on how to manage computer alerts.

Point #1

  • High alert volume will inevitably lead to 'Alert Fatigue'

Point(s) #2

  • Alerts should be relevant, timely and actionable

This go me thinking...while not everyone receives system administration related alerts almost everyone receives other types of messages: email. phone calls, voicemails and the myriad of messaging apps and perhaps the lessons learned from dealing with computer related alerts can be applied to the deluge of information most of us deal with on a daily basis.

The snippet from the mailing list is below.

-- Max.

A Tip
Some practical advice from ThePurpleBuffalo that might save your from succumbing to ‘cried wolf’ syndrome, "High alert volume will inevitably lead to 'Alert Fatigue,' which puts your environment at risk.
All alerts need to be:
Relevant (I don't care if something in a dev environment goes down.)
Timely (I don't care that something was down 8 months ago.)
Actionable (If I can't do anything to fix it, why am I getting an alert for it?)
If you are receiving alerts that fail to meet any of these criteria, you need to spend time tweaking your alerts. Managing alerts is an ongoing process. If after you have done all of that cleanup and tweaking you are still experiencing high alert volumes, then you need to spend time improving your infrastructure to either be more reliable or self healing.