Using Jeli for the first time: Here’s what it looks like

Published on
January 19, 2023
Lesleanne Blakeley
Lesleanne Blakeley
Solutions Engineering Manager
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👋 I’m Lesleanne – a newer member of the Jeli Bean team, but not new to incidents or facilitating incident reviews. My incident experience is filled with memories of creating spreadsheets to track information manually, building home-grown dashboards to help understand all that data, scrolling through multiple Slack channels to understand who was involved, who said what, where people were talking, and taking hours to document all of that information. If you have worked in incident management, I’m sure you can relate. The thing is, doing everything I’ve listed above is so important to understanding how we get ourselves into these situations in the first place, and understanding the experience felt by both our internal teams and our customers. The challenge is – the time and effort required to do it all. And do it all well. 🤪

Making it easier to get more out of your incidents is one of the many reasons I joined Jeli. My experience at Jeli has lived up to expectations — and then some — and I’m so excited about what we’re creating for our customers. I had a chance to do my first learning review with Jeli in my first month, and as someone newer to using Jeli, I wanted to share a few things I took away from my first experience.

Can non-engineers use Jeli, too? 
Short answer: Yes!

I joined Jeli earlier this year to lead the Solutions team – a team of seasoned experts passionate about learning from incidents. Our main goal is to help organizations use Jeli to gather deeper insights on the relationships between their people and their technologies. Most of my onboarding was what you might expect – getting to know my new team members and company culture, understanding what other teams are doing, getting to know our customers – all the things that would help me get up-to-speed in my new role as quickly as possible. What I didn’t expect, however, is doing my first incident review in Jeli as part of my onboarding. I was both nervous, and excited – a new tool to try out? Fun! Sign me up. Running a review with people I’ve just met, without any knowledge of our tools and systems, and with no previous engineering experience? For this, there are no words. Just 😳. 

Turns out, I had nothing to worry about, and only knowledge to gain. 

Given this was my first review, I received coaching help from our seasoned incident response and analysis experts Emily and Vanessa, sought out guidance from our 101 series blogs and HOWIE guide, and had the support from everyone attending my learning review. I didn’t realize I already had so many great resources at my fingertips!

Once it was time to get started in Jeli, I decided to use Jeli’s narrative builder feature. Not only do I love to sort and organize things (I come from an operations background and also find joy in organizing things at home a la :mariekondo:), but narrative builder was recommended as something to try out as a first time investigator and user of Jeli. There are a couple things that I took away from my experience using narrative builder as I prepared for my first learning review:

  1. It was fun – actually. As someone who had once pulled Slack conversations and information into documents, dragging and dropping was more enjoyable, and oddly satisfying. 
  2. It was easier than I expected. Again, coming from a past life of manually documenting timelines and gathering information, I always thought there had to be a better way. Narrative builder made it easier to look at the information I needed and to build out my timeline, while adding notes to events and conversations for follow-up during my review.
  3. It was fast. The predetermined event markers used to categorize the information made it a lot easier to efficiently organize my thoughts and the sequence of events, and really build a story of what happened. 

Now that I’ve used narrative builder to build timelines, it would be really hard to go back to my previous ways. 

Narrative builder made it easier (and more enjoyable) to piece together the story of the incident. 

As I reflect back on my introduction to Jeli, doing my first review within the platform wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it would be. In addition to trying out Jeli for the first time, I developed a better understanding of our own  inner workings, and got to know my new teammates better. Not to mention, I was celebrated with emojis and praise after I wrapped up the learning review, which left me feeling more confident and excited for the next one!

If you’re heading into your first review, or still early on in your post-incident review journey with Jeli – don’t worry. You’ve got this! And if you haven’t given narrative builder a try yet, do it! You can try Jeli out with our free trial. We even have an introductory tutorial to guide you, and there’s a whole team of us that would be happy to help. Happy Investigating!