ITIL Incident Management: 7 Terms to Know

An incident management process is essential for any IT service provider. The ITIL Service Operation stage includes the incident management process. Online ITIL Training outlines seven key terms that are used during the incident management process. These terms should be familiar to all IT service managers and service owners. The ITIL certification exam tests your knowledge of how these seven terms are used in incident management. Here are seven terms you should know about incident management.
Incident Management Term 1: Incident
An incident in incident management is an unplanned interruption or decrease in an IT Service. Service degradation, failure of a computer, or service interruptions are all examples of an incident. All of these are incidents. All of these incidents can have an impact on the delivery of services to customers or businesses. Incidents can be reported for both failures and decreases in service levels in incident management. If a service is expected to respond in 100 milliseconds but it returns the results after one hundred fifty milliseconds, then this is not considered a failure. This is because the service is not meeting the agreed service level.
Incident management includes failure of a configuration item that hasn’t yet affected service. Active-active working databases within IT service providers allow customers to be served even if one database is down. The other replica of the database will continue to serve. Although this will not affect customer service, it is still an incident because one of the databases in this configuration is down.
Incident Management Term 2: Service Request
A service request in incident management is a request by a user for information, advice, or to make a standard change or gain access to an IT Service. Service requests can be used to reset a password, or provide standard IT Services to a new user. These are the standard ITIL service management changes. Service requests are typically handled by the Service Desk according to the incident management process and don’t require a request to be changed. Resetting a password for a user, installing PC applications for a new worker, etc. All service requests are standard. These types of requests are handled by Service Desk without further escalation. Incidents and problems that cannot be resolved by the service desk will be escalated as per the incident management process.
Incident Management Term 3: Time Period
A time period in incident management is a time period that must be agreed upon for all phases of incident handling. The priority of the incident determines the time period. An IT Service Provider can agree with the customer that priority one incidents should be resolved within four hours, priority two issues must be resolved in less time (12 hours), and priority three incidents must resolve in less time (72/2). These time frames and priority levels are agreed upon between the IT service provider as well as the business. These time periods directly impact the customer experience when an incident occurs in a live environment.

The time period is calculated based on the SLAs’ general response time and resolution rates (targets). It also includes the OLAs or contracts. The IT Service provider evaluates the potential incidents that could occur during service operation and negotiates with the business the best times to fix them. These are then outlined in SLAs or OLAs, along with the penalties for not meeting them.
The time period is used to escalate incidents in incident management tools.

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