Approaching Incident Response Compassionately With Connie-Lynne Villani

Posted on Tuesday, Sep 8, 2020
In this PagerDuty Summit Special episode Julie Gunderson talks with Connie-Lynne Villani, Director of Incident Management at Fastly about her upcoming PagerDuty Summit talk: Approaching Incident Response Compassionately and why it is important for both people and the organization.

Show Notes

Why Connie-Lynne is Excited about speaking at Summit

Connie-Lynne shares her excitement about speaking at PagerDuty Summit, and where her talk stemmed from. She talks about the notion of how we can be both being effective and still acknowledge the humanity within ourselves and our colleagues.

Connie-Lynne: “I’m so excited about this topic of compassion and being kind to people, and actually taking this approach with integrity to work and to incidents.”

Approaching Incident response Compassionately

As a continued topic on the podcast, Connie-Lynne and Julie discuss why it is important to have compassion during the incident response process. Connie-Lynne discusses the stresses on people when an incident happens, and how it can affect thinking.

Connie-Lynne “To make yourself feel ok is really important, because that way you are open-minded when you are coming to solve a problem.”

How Do We Make Things Blameless

Connie-Lynne talks to us about how there are contributing factors to incidents, and how avoiding blame is important, she shares with our listeners words she uses on her team at Fastly.

Connie-Lynne: “Root Cause, particularly when you are talking about complex systems is an outdated concept.”

She continues to talk about the language used in incidents, and using the words trigger and contributing factors instead of terms that point blame.

Talking about the Clown

Connie-Lynne talks to us about how there may be mistakes, but they can also be “happy little trees”. She continues to talk about how methodologies are tools to use, and how the goal is to make things better and learn from mistakes.

Connie-Lynne: “That’s what we want to look at, how do we make things better… and that is where compassion comes in, you are looking at the positives. You aren’t focused on the negatives, the negatives happen, you acknowledge that the negatives happen.”

To see Connie’s full talk on 923 register free for PagerDuty Summit at the link below.

Additional Resources


Connie-Lynne Villani

Connie-Lynne Villani

With degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Theater Management, Connie-Lynne brings more than 25 years of System Engineering experience to the table, as well as a keen understanding of how to handle drama in the workplace. Currently Director of Incident Management at Fastly, Connie-Lynne has worked at Linden Lab,, and Caltech, but admits that her most fun position is serving as a board member for the Grilled Cheese Invitational, an annual food festival celebrating all things cheesy.


Julie Gunderson

Julie Gunderson

Julie Gunderson is a DevOps Advocate on the Community & Advocacy team. Her role focuses on interacting with PagerDuty practitioners to build a sense of community. She will be creating and delivering thought leadership content that defines both the challenges and solutions common to managing real-time operations. She will also meet with customers and prospects to help them learn about and adopt best practices in our Real-Time Operations arena. As an advocate, her mission is to engage with the community to advocate for PagerDuty and to engage with different teams at PagerDuty to advocate on behalf of the community.