Wolf Incident Postmortem

January 8th, 2023
kids, satire, tech

Incident #210


Complete, one action item outstanding.


Sentinel consumed by wolf after repeated false alarms.


Loss of sentinel. No flock impact.

Root causes

Sentinel generated noisy alerts due to premature deployment, incomplete training, and overly monotonous task. Oncalls failed to respond to true positive due to alert fatigue.




Gathered flock. Deployed replacement sentinel.


Sentinel did not report at end of shift.

Action Items

Priority Action Item Type Status
P0 Gather flock mitigate complete
P0 Deploy replacement sentinel mitigate complete
P1 Update playbook for wolf alerts prevent complete
P2 Update remaining sentinels prevent complete
P2 Revise sentinel training program prevent complete
P2 Investigate equipping sentinels with flutes or slings prevent in progress

Lessons Learned

What went well

  • Flock gathering proceeded without issues.
  • No flock injuries or losses.
  • Replacement sentinel did not exhibit false positive alerts.

What went wrong

  • Noisy alerts not addressed.
  • Alerts silenced contrary to playbook.
  • Loss of sentinel.

Where we got lucky

  • Only one wolf.
  • Wolf sated after sentinel consumption.
  • Replacement sentinel available.


All times local

March 3rd:

  • 16:32 Oncalls paged "wolf".
  • 16:34 First oncall arrives at sentinel location.
  • 16:34 Alert diagnosed as false positive. No corrective action performed.

March 4th:

  • 14:15 Oncalls paged "wolf".
  • 14:19 First oncall arrives at sentinel location.
  • 14:19 Alert diagnosed as false positive. No corrective action performed.

March 5th:

  • 17:03 (Reconstructed) Outage begins, sentinel notices wolf.
  • 17:03 Oncalls paged "wolf".
  • 17:04 Oncalls paged "wolf".
  • 17:04 Oncalls paged "real wolf".
  • 17:05 (Reconstructed) Wolf consumes sentinel.
  • 18:45 Sentinel does not report at end of shift.
  • 19:05 Primary oncall dispatched to field.
  • 19:10 Oncall diagnoses issue.
  • 19:10 Incident begins, secondary and tertiary oncalls paged.
  • 19:15 First sheep located.
  • 19:52 Last sheep located.
  • 20:05 Flock safe in pens.
  • 20:05 Outage ends, flock protection fully restored.
  • 20:45 Replacement sentinel identified.
March 6th:
  • 07:38 Replacement sentinel deployed
  • 18:45 Replacement sentinel reports at end of shift
  • 18:45 Incident ends, 24hr without wolf alerts or activity (exit criterion).

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