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What are alert policies?

This article highlights a new alerting feature that's natively available in Jira Service Management which is gradually rolling out to some Jira Service Management Cloud customers. It may not yet be visible or available on your site.

Alert policies are predefined rules and conditions that manage how your alerts behave under certain circumstances. A change of behavior might be required from several events ranging from a sudden surge in server errors, a drop in website performance, or a critical database failure.

The core function of alert policies is to guide your system on how to handle these scenarios and create alerts accordingly. Read how to create, edit, and delete alert policies.

Alert modification

Alerts are triggered from various sources. Each of these sources has its own set of rules that determine the properties of the alert when it's created in Jira Service Management. However, if a specific combination of alert properties signifies an issue in your system, the alert policy will identify it and modify the alert. For example, if a triggered alert includes a distinct tag or a different priority, you can reroute the alert to a different responder or alter its originally intended priority. Alert policies step in to adjust alerts as they are being created.

With alert policies, you can change alert properties, including the message, description, and even the designated responders, all before the alert is generated. Based on the alert's properties, you can decide which teams or users should be assigned as responders.

When an alert policy is applied to an alert, the corresponding policy will be recorded in the alert's activity log. This allows both the alert assignee and responders to gain a comprehensive overview of the entire sequence of actions and modifications made to the alert from its time of creation.

Global vs. Team alert policies

Alert policies can be configured both and Global and Team levels:

Global Alert Policies: These policies impact all your team operations in Jira Service Management. Once created, they will appear to all operations within your system, establishing fundamental rules and standards for alert management across your company. If an alert matches both a global and team policy, the global policy takes precedence.

Team Alert Policies: These policies are typically used to meet the specific requirements of individual teams' operations. They allow teams to define their own alerting rules and strategies, providing independence in managing alerts without affecting other teams. Team alert policies are applied to the alerts under the following conditions:

  • If the alert is triggered by that team’s integration

  • If the alert is triggered by a site-level integration (an integration that is not assigned to a specific team) but the alert is routed to this team

  • Alert is triggered by an incident, and this team is the assignee or responder of the incident.

Top-down priority

In your system, you can have multiple alert policies operating simultaneously. When an alert is triggered for the first time, Jira Service Management follows a specific sequence. It first checks any existing Global Alert Policies, if available, and then proceeds to Team Alert Policies.

If there are multiple Global policies, Jira Service Management evaluates these policies from top to bottom, applying the first policy that matches the alert's content. In essence, the order of these policies matters. Only if no Global Alert Policies match the alert, or if there are no global policies set, does Jira Service Management consider the Team Alert Policies, again assessing them for the conditions, in a top-to-bottom order. If none of the policies match the alert's content, the alert will be created according to the rules defined by its source.

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