An escalation policy determines which schedules are notified and in which order they're notified when an alert fires.
Escalation policies can also be re-used across services: most teams have a common pattern for escalating alerts: each escalation policy captures such a pattern.
An example policy might first route alerts to a schedule comprised of technical users, followed by one with product managers, and, finally, a schedule comprised of senior management. If any user doesn't respond within the configurable threshold, the alert is automatically escalated to the next schedule. Alerts can also be escalated manually by any user on the team.
Let's read about schedules next.