Incident management is the process that is closely oriented with the service desk. Here the service desk embarks the single point of contact for all the users communicating with IT.
Whenever a service gets disrupted and if it fails to deliver the promised performance within the duration of normal service hours, it is essential to restore the service to its normal working as quickly as possible.
The main focus of Incident Management is to restore the service with every possible necessity for which this process might involve the use of a temporary fix, before giving a permanent solution.
An important tool of Incident Management in the diagnosis of incidents is the error database. This error database will identify the problems or known errors that have caused incidents in the past and will provide information from the history of its temporary solutions that have been identified earlier.
What is Incident Management?
Incident management is the process that works on the foundation of an incident model. The new incidents that will occur must be similar to incidents that have occurred in the past. Therefore, an incident model is followed:
- Steps are taken to handle the incident and its responsibilities
- Precaution is taken before resolving the incident
- Timescales for resolution
- Increased procedures
- Evidence preservation
The work of the incident model is to streamline the process of incident management and reduces the risk of errors.
Steps involved in the Incident Management Process:
The Incident goes through a structured workflow for its solution and recovery. The incident management process will follow these steps:
1. Incident Identification:
The first step in the follow up of workflow is the identification of the incident. By generating the incident by the user inline, a ticket is generated.
Now the service desk will decide, whether the issue is an incident or just a request. If it is a request, then it will be categorized and handled differently and if it is an incident, they will follow a request fulfillment procedure so that ticket can be generated.
This incident ticket will carry information like the name of the user, his/her contact details, incident description, and date and time of the incident report.
The diagnosis of the incident ticket will include the categorization and prioritization of the ticket raised.
The categorization step is for assigning a category to the incident with at least one subcategory for its definite identification. This step involves many purposes from allowing the service desk to sort the incident to allow the issue for their automatic prioritization.
The incident prioritization can be determined from its impact on the users, on the business and its urgency. On the basis of its urgency, the incident is quickly resolved.
- Low-priority incidents are those incidents that do not interrupt the users, the business and its workaround. So, the services that are provided to the users and customers can be maintained efficiently.
- Medium-priority incidents affect the few staff and work is also interrupted to some extent. So, the users and customers may be slightly affected.
- High-priority incidents affect a large number of users or customers as they interrupt business and affect service delivery. These incidents almost always put a financial impact on the organization.
The incident is now needed to be logged so that, to keep their record regarding what is being observed and can be followed up anytime for the track incident resolving process.
Incident logging refers to the fact that incidents that are reported to the service desk are logged with the date and time stamp that they are generated.
Incident logging details will include:
- A unique identification numbers
- Incident category
- Date and time recorded
- Incident impact and urgency
- User details
- Description of symptoms
- Resolution details
- Closure date and time
The response is the action, which is taken to solve the incident, to solve the problem with all the correct information in the data feed.
Once identified, categorized, prioritized, and logged, the service desk can handle and resolve the incident. Incident resolution involves a few steps:
- Initial diagnosis:
Initial diagnosis occurs when the user describes his or her problem and answers all the troubleshooting questions correctly.
- Incident escalation:
This happens when an incident requires advanced support, such as sending an on-site technician or assistance from certified support staff.
- Investigation and diagnosis:
Investigation of the process takes place during the troubleshooting when the initial incident theory is confirmed to be correct.
When the incident is diagnosed, the service desk staff will implement a solution to it, which may include changes in software settings or applying a software patch or ordering new hardware.
5. Restoration to Normality:
After the service desk has figured out what exactly was the issue, they will create an efficient and effective resolution to solve the incident query.
Whenever the incident's problems get solved, the process of incident management finally comes to the closure. At this point, the incident is considered to be closed and the incident process will end.
How is the status of the Incident defined?
The process of Incident Management includes a few categorized statuses of incidents, based on the position and place of incident in the whole process:
The new status shows that the service desk has received the query and a ticket has been generated for that incident, but it is not assigned it to any agent yet.
The assigned status means now the incident has been assigned to an individual service desk agent for its solution.
- In progress:
The in-progress status indicates that the agent is actively working with the user to diagnose and resolve the incident.
- On hold or pending:
The on-hold status indicates that the incident requires some information or response from the user or from a third party.
So, the incident is placed “on hold” so that SLA response deadlines do not exceed while waiting for the response from the user or vendor.
The resolved status means the service desk has confirmed that the incident is resolved and the user's service is restored to the SLA levels.
The closed status indicates the incident is resolved and no further actions will be taken regarding the same.
The conclusion for the Incident Management Process is that every process has some steps involved in its working.
Incident management follows incidents report through the service desk to track trends in incident categories and time for each and every status.
The final component involved with incident management is the evaluation of the data gathered. Incident data guides the organization to make decisions that will improve the quality of the service delivered and decrease the overall volume of incidents reported.