A game day simulates a failure or event to test systems, processes, and team responses. The purpose is to actually perform the actions the team would perform as if an exceptional event happened. These should be conducted regularly so that your team builds "muscle memory" on how to respond. It is like breaking something on purpose and practicing fixing it. 

A game day is really important for the companies because it is better to practice things before they become actual incidents and have that huge stress on the team that they didn’t even practice before. Fixing things in a  controlled and supportive environment also makes the team more prepared and stay calm if an actual incident happens. 

Game Day in Software Description

Game days must cover these 5 important pillars of software architecture and see how these 5’s results are:

  • Cost
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Operations
  • Performance¬†

Game Day Process

All the shareholders must be included in a game day; this specifically covers management, security professionals, developers, testers, and operations units in other words the ones that generally carry out the workload. 

1. Define the Scenario

Simulating a failure or event on a game day is a crucial way to test your systems, processes, and team responses. The idea behind game days is to perform the actions that your team would undertake in case of an exceptional event. Regular game days help your team build "muscle memory" and become more efficient in responding to such situations.

Inform All the Organization Before the Start

To ensure a successful game day simulation, it is crucial to schedule and notify all personnel who will be involved or affected by the event. The personnel should have a clear understanding of the schedule for the day and the environment in which the simulation will take place.

Execute the Simulation

To ensure a successful game day, it's crucial to carefully select the right personnel and workload. Additionally, it's important to run a series of simulated events that will help you prepare for the actual game day. Assign a capable staff member to oversee the simulation and ensure everything runs smoothly. Always remember the criticality of the task and the importance of executing it correctly. By creating a well-planned runbook and obtaining approval before running the test, you can be confident that you're prepared to handle any challenge that arises.

Analyze the Results and the Game Day 

It is crucial to define and document the tools, employees, and actions where your expectations are not being met. After completing a game day, it's crucial to have a debriefing to determine if any education, training, or additional tooling is necessary. Additionally, document any opportunities for testing in subsequent game days. Take a close look at the execution of the game day itself to determine if there are any areas for improvement. Create action points to recover and make sure to address any issues that were identified during the execution and analysis processes.

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