Incident Management is responsible for handling all incidents. These are classed as faults, bugs, failures or issues that have been reported by users / customers either via telephoning a Service Desk, self logging through an intranet portal or by monitoring tools.
The definition of an incident is 'an unplanned interruption to an IT service or reduction in the quality of an IT service'. Incidents can also be logged against configuration items (CIs) for something that hasn't affected the service yet.
Incident Management can be broken down into the following elements:
- Timescales - these will be determined by the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) that have been agreed between IT and the Business. Under Pinning Contracts (UPCs) with 3rd party suppliers also need to be factored in too.
- Incident Models - these are pre-defined steps on how an incident should be handled. This ensures consistency and timely management of incidents.
- Impact - the effect of an incident on the business and its services
- Urgency - how long will it be before the incident impacts the business and its services
- Priority - this is calculated on the impact and urgency of an incident. It determines what incidents should be dealt with first.
- Major Incidents - the most severe type of incident which has the highest impact on the business. Typically there is a pre-defined process for dealing with Major Incidents which includes liaising with Senior Management and Business representatives.
It is important not to confuse Major Incidents with problems. Incidents can never become problems and remain as incidents throughout their lifecycle.
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