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Two Fundamental ITIL® Processes: Incident Management and the Service Desk

When considering ways to improve an IT organization, it is beneficial to have some idea of the best methods and techniques used to measure and quantify what needs improving and what is working at its maximum efficiency. Two areas of concern are Incident Management and the Service Desk. According to ITIL®, Incident Management is “the process responsible for managing the Lifecycle of all Incidents.

The primary objective of Incident Management is to return the IT service to customers as quickly as possible.” The Service Desk is “the single point of contact between the Service Provider and the users. A typical Service Desk manages Incidents and Service Requests and also handles communication with the users.”

Here are a few suggestions to help you organize your IT department. Remember even the smallest of problems can twist into infinitely larger ones. Beginning with the Service Desk: the Service Desk needs to be focused and work in proportion to the needs of the business so that all users are satisfied. A good foundation is to examine how many calls are received in a specific period, the number of calls that are missed, the number of rings before the phone was actually answered, and the priority of the call. After that, determine the number of calls actually logged, the number of calls missed, and how long the representatives were on the phone.

The reason for determining all of these factors is to figure out why the Service Desk may not be working to its full potential. It is important to understand why low priority calls may be taking longer or why many calls were missed. For example, Service Desk personnel may lack proper training in understanding the correct processes and procedures within the business. In addition to ensuring that the Service Desk is operating efficiently, the information you discovered from the questions above may identify other areas that could use improvement.

Incident Management and the Service Desk work closely together. The Service Desk commonly carries out much of the frontline work for Incident Management. For instance, the Service Desk handles the call center and can track the number of Incidents against the number of incoming calls and how many of these calls were regarding the same Incident. Incident Management is also concerned with how many of the Incidents were quickly taken care of by the Service Desk and what is the average time it takes to resolve an IT Incident. All of this data can help you uncover how much of the work is taken care of on the initial call, how much is repeat work, and how much needs an escalation and higher level skills. For example, if your Service Desk is fielding many questions regarding the same Incident and your Incident Management team discovers that all the Incident requires is a firmware update, you can have your Service Desk personnel guide the callers through the firmware update (or whatever workaround is in place) which will free up your higher tier Incident Management team to resolve other Incidents. With your Service Desk and Incident Management teams working together effectively, your users and customers will receive high quality service and are more likely to be satisfied, resulting in more revenue for your organization.

Ashford Global IT (AGIT) is here to prepare you for the raised responsibilities and duties involved in Incident Management and/or the Service Desk. Continue down your path of IT excellence and learn more about Incident Management and the Service Desk in AGIT’s ITIL V3 Service Operation and ITIL V3 Operational Support and Analysis courses. AGIT offers all the ITIL training and certifications one needs to push their career to new levels.


About this author:

Angel Prusinowski

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

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