Chapter 9 Writing a Post-mortem
This is your chance to begin rebuilding trust with your customers, and there are a few simple rules which will help ensure your customers get all of the answers they want.
Provide a simple, understandable overview
A great deal of your user base probably isn’t technical, and even if they are they’ll only have so much time and interest in reading. Keep your initial overview of what went wrong relatively short and, as always, try and explain things in plain English. Also remember to never point the finger or shift the blame onto someone else.
Explain what changes you’ve made as a result
Don’t make any promises about the problem not coming back to bite you a second time, but do explain to people what changes you’ve made, be they technological or human, to help mitigate those contributing factors we discussed earlier.
Provide technical detail for those who want it.
For those who want it, or as an interest to other engineers, you can also include some really detailed technical insight into what went wrong. But bear in mind this is only for certain audiences, so if you’re worried about scaring off customers it might be safer to leave it out, and it should only come after your short and friendly overview.
Invite questions from those who have them
Certain customers might want more information than you’ve shared here; provide a contact within the company to whom they can reach our for more details, which will help allay any residual fears they may have.