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Understanding Escalation Methods in Rocketship

In Rocketship, the Escalation Engine plays a pivotal role in orchestrating the assignment and routing of tickets among different Teams and Resources. To grasp the concept of Escalation Methods, it’s essential to distinguish them from Escalation Rules. An Escalation Rule combines Ticket Criteria with an Escalation Path (Escalation Teams), while an Escalation Method pairs a direction with an assignment strategy. These two components are interrelated yet distinct in their functions.


To illustrate, consider the following scenario:

  1. A ticket arrives in the Office 365 Support queue.
  2. The ticket is new and unassigned.
  3. Your setup involves three Escalation Teams: Escalation Team 1 (Bob, Sue, Jack, Chris, John), Escalation Team 2 (Frank, Amanda), and Escalation Team 3 (Sam).

Ownership and Dispatch

In this context, the ‘Office 365 tickets’ Escalation Rule takes ownership of the ticket, meaning the Escalation Teams (corresponding to different Tiers/Levels) within that Escalation Rule determine the individuals equipped to handle Office 365-related tasks.

Now, when a user initiates the “Dispatch” action, the Escalation Rule defines the relevant Escalation Teams and the order of those Escalation Teams. However, what exactly does “dispatch” signify? In Rocketship, “dispatch” translates to “escalating UP from no Escalation Team to the first Escalation Team.” Upon reaching the first Escalation Team, a decision must be made: Does the ticket go to Bob or Sue? How is this determination made? 

Escalations: Up, Down, Sideways?

Setting aside the above question momentarily, let’s fast-forward a week. The ticket has moved to Escalation Team 2, and Amanda now has the ticket. If she chooses to “Escalate,” what occurs? What does “escalate” signify in this context? Does she intend to revert the ticket back to Escalation Team 1 since her Escalation Team 2 tasks are complete? Alternatively, does she seek to send it to Escalation Team 3?

In the initial version of Rocketship, “escalate” inherently meant “transfer to a higher Escalation Team based on the technician with the lightest workload, considering both their calendar and work queue.” While robust, this approach had limitations, as not all helpdesk tickets follow such a straightforward path.

With the enhanced Escalation Engine, Rocketship has introduced the concept of Escalation Methods. Each Escalation Method encompasses:

  • Direction: Upward, Downward, Sideways
  • Assignment Strategy: Determining the most suitable Resource within a Escalation Team.

For instance, the ‘Escalate Up – First Available’ Escalation Method dictates “route the ticket upward to the next Escalation Team within the ‘Office 365’ Escalation Rule and assign it to the technician in that Escalation Team who can address the ticket most promptly.” (This method defines the strategy employed by the initial Escalation Engine.)

Conversely, should a user wish to return the ticket to Escalation Team 1, they can select the ‘Escalate Down – Previous Team First Available’ method, which translates to “route the ticket downward to the ‘original’ Team and assign it to the individual capable of handling it most expediently.” (This example is an incredibly common process in helpdesks, e.g., a ticket escalates up to an engineer for Change Management and then back to a lower tier for final resolution and communication with the customer.)

The Power of Escalation Methods

The true strength of Escalation Methods lies in their flexibility to mix and match directions and assignment strategies. Noteworthy assignment strategies now at your disposal include:

  • First Available: Assigning the ticket to the technician who can address it the quickest within the Escalation Team.
  • Round Robin: Distributing assignments among Escalation Team members in a rotational manner.
  • Least Tickets: Allocating the ticket to the Resource with the fewest open tickets in the Escalation Team.

What’s key to understand is that the Escalation Method works within the Escalation Rule.

Leveraging Defaults

In the Admin Portal, you have the option to define your “default” Escalation Methods for each direction. This empowers you to consistently establish the meaning of ‘Escalate Up,’ ‘Escalate Sideways,’ and ‘Escalate Down’ based on your unique operational requirements.


In conclusion, Escalation Methods in Rocketship empower you to customize the ticket routing process with precision. While closely related, Escalation Methods and Escalation Rules have distinct roles. Escalation Rules establish the structure and ownership of tickets within defined criteria, while Escalation Methods infuse dynamic strategies and directions into the assignment process. The connection between these two components enables you to streamline ticket management according to your organization’s unique needs.

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