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Are your incidents part of your service catalog?

Incident management, a reactive approach to solving a request or determine a solution to restore service quickly, is the basis of the support process. This management is an integral part of any Help Desk, triggered either by a user or an internal team.

This release (by phone, email or via a web portal for organizations with a tool for IT Service Management) is followed by the receipt, documentation and registration of the application with specific data. This activity creates a ticket-type “incident” which will then classify or categorize a customer agent level 1 support. The objective of this activity is to resolve the request or provide a workaround to restore service as quickly as possible. If the request is not resolved, the manager must be scaling the application to a higher level of service or to report a problem, make an analysis and diagnosis based on the process of managing incidents and problems while respecting the service level agreement (SLA).

Management problems is rather a proactive approach to improve the basic workarounds, fixed solutions, development of knowledge bases or known error. In a final step, if necessary, a change request will be required to redefine the process from the initial incident.

Important distinction

Incident Management, which is the process of restoring service interrupted, therefore contrast problem management, which is further characterized by the search for workarounds or permanent solutions, as well as documentation this knowledge base in order to avoid the incident concerned. Thus, the first is a reactive approach managed by the support center while the second is for specialists to find solutions from upstream to downstream.

ITSM framework

Although the process sees a custom context to another, respect for industry standards for IT Service Management is important. Following the standards of ITIL® framework, incident management boils down to the following steps:

  • Receipt and registration of the request
  • Categorization of the application
  • Diagnosis, investigation
  • Resolution and service restoration
  • Close statement
  • Communicate the status of progress
  • Inform services and service levels
  • Monitoring the Incident Management
  • Evaluation framework for the management of incidents

Solutions and service level agreements

In categorizing the incident and relying on agreements (SLAs), response time, resolution, and a prioritization matrix can effectively manage such incidents (measuring the impact and urgency). Categorization and prioritization, therefore, provide key indicators.

Service requests

It still shows in 2013 as a challenge to determine whether the request is for a service or an incident. The difference lies in the service catalogue, where you find all services (including claims related to the support center). The incident, meanwhile, is more of a service problem, a situation where you cannot perform a task. An ITSM tool allows for distinguishing these two elements and optimally manage with a comprehensive service catalogue.