Season's Freezings: Change Freezes with Rich Lafferty

Season's Freezings: Change Freezes with Rich Lafferty

Dec 13, 2022

PagerDuty Staff SRE Rich Lafferty joins Scott McAllister and Mandi Walls for a session on Change Freezes, why PagerDuty does them, and how we manage change during times when a majority of folks are out of the office.

Follow our Twitch channel for more live streams:

Check out the @Rundeck Twitter account and these posts in the Season’s Freezings series:

Time Stamps:

00:00 - Intro

04:30 - How PagerDuty thinks about change freezes, being an international team.

07:45 - Is it a #CodeFreeze or #ChangeFreeze?

10:00 - The difference between having a freeze when some folks are in the office and when almost no one is in the office - US Thanksgiving vs winter holidays.

11:45 - “Thawing” from a freeze.

13:20 - Asking teams to be “careful” in production.

16:00 - Trading the impact of an incident for a regular work day instead of a holiday.

16:45 - Richard Cook’s How Complex Systems Fail. (

19:30 - Unintended side effects of change freezes.

21:45 - Should you have a change freeze?

23:55 - Do we freeze staging and load test environments?

26:45 - What if you really have to deploy during a freeze?

33:30 - A sidetrack on postmortems vs incident reviews, why the language matters, and what technology teams can learn from other industries. Westrum Model and Atul Gawande. ( and respectively)

38:45 - Using a freeze time to tackle toil. Rich’s team has “Delight Weeks” as well.

43:00 - How PagerDuty SRE is working with Process Automation to improve processes for host and asset management.

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