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Delving Deeper into Incident Management

One of the objectives of ITIL® is to bring order into the chaotic world of providing IT services. ITIL is a collection of best practices for organizations with an IT infrastructure to implement. Incident Management is one of the processes in ITIL that is designed to reduce costs incurred by errors, maximize productivity, and ensure customer satisfaction.

What Incident Management Is

Incident Management is part of Service Operation, which is the process in charge of delivering IT services in an efficient and effective manner. To truly understand Incident Management, you first need to understand what an Incident is.

An Incident is an unplanned interruption to an IT service or a reduction in the quality of an IT service. Examples of Incidents include application bugs, automatic alerts, and hardware failure. Incident Management works to restore operations as quickly as possible while reducing the effects of Incidents to the business or clientele.

Sub-Processes and Activities in Incident Management

As Incident Management is a delicate procedure, the following sub-processes and activities are necessary:

  • Incident Management Support – This process is in charge of providing and maintaining the tools, processes, capabilities, and regulations needed to effectively handle Incidents.
  • Incident Logging and Categorization – This process records and prioritizes an Incident to determine when and how it should be handled.
  • Immediate Incident Resolution by 1st Level Support – This is the first level of support an Incident goes through. In 1st Level Support, the staff will try to eliminate the Incident or at least reduce its impact if a full resolution isn’t available. If 1st Level Support cannot resolve the Incident in a timely manner, the Incident is shipped off to 2nd Level Support.
  • Incident Resolution by 2nd Level Support – Just like 1st Level Support, 2nd Level Support will try their best to resolve the Incident within a given time. The involvement of 3rd Level Support may be required if there is not a timely resolution. If no solution is found, a Problem Record is created, and the Incident is sent to Problem Management.
  • Handling of Major Incidents – According to ITIL, a Major Incident is “the highest Category of Impact for an Incident. A Major Incident results in significant disruption to the Business.” Because Major Incidents can be devastating to the business, they need to be dealt with in a swift manner. The Major Incident team focuses their time and resources on the Major Incident alone to ensure a timely resolution.
  • Incident Closure and Evaluation – In this process, the Incident Record undergoes a final quality check before it is archived. This will make sure that the Incident has been properly resolved. Plus, the solution will be documented for future use.
  • Incident Monitoring and Escalation – Unresolved Incidents are monitored and checked against schedules. A decision as to whether the next Incident resolving level (3rd level or higher) should be called in or not is usually made at this stage.
  • Incident Management Reporting – This process provides other Service Management processes with the Incident’s information to avoid potential problems in the future.

To learn more about how Incident Management can help your organization, you should train for the ITIL V3 Operational Support and Analysis Certificate or the ITIL V3 Service Operation Certificate.

For all your ITIL training needs, come to Ashford Global IT, where lively lectures and hands-on training guarantee your success!

About this author:

Angel Prusinowski

Angel is a leading ITIL® instructor at Ashford Global IT.

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