Imagine this: one of the systems you help support develops a problem some weekday evening. It crashes, system is down, unavailable. As the on-call support person, you get the alert, and connect in to see what's wrong.
Maybe it's a quick solution. You bring the system back up within minutes.
Or, maybe the problem is more complex. You aren't able to find an immediate fix for the problem, and the system is down for an hour before you can figure out the cause ... then another hour working with the vendor's support line ... and another hour before the problem is fully resolved and you can bring the system back up.
It's important to keep your manager updated with these problems. I encourage everyone to have a conversation with their supervisor about appropriate notification. Different types of problems demand a different level of escalation. For quick fixes like the first example, maybe an email to the manager is appropriate.
But for cases like the second example, I expect any on-call support person to notify their manager.
Why is this important? When systems are down, end-users are not able to use the system, and that means our customers are affected. Most of the systems we run support students in some way - and our customers are the campus departments (Registrar, Housing, e-Education, etc.) that respond to those students.
Ultimately, a manager in OIT will get asked by the customer, "What happened?" I'd hate to say "I didn't know" about a system problem! That would be poor customer service.
To provide the best possible service to our customers, and to the students of the University of Minnesota, managers need to know about what's going on - good or bad. Please let us know when your systems experience a major outage.
System database administration, and Production services, escalate to me.
Storage and backup team members should escalate problems to Jac.
Systems administration escalate to Patton.
Jac and Patton can respond to the issues that are brought to them, and will raise the problem to my attention if necessary.