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Incident Management

ITIL Incident Management

'Real World' definition of Incident Management: IM is the way that the Service
Desk puts out the 'daily fires'.

An 'Incident' is any event which is not part of the standard operation of the service
and which causes, or may cause, an interruption or a reduction of the quality of the
service.

The objective of Incident Management is to restore normal operations as quickly as


possible with the least possible impact on either the business or the user, at a cost-
effective price.

Inputs for Incident Management mostly come from users, but can have other
sources as well like management Information or Detection Systems. The outputs of
the process are RFC’s (Requests for Changes), resolved and closed Incidents,
management information and communication to the customer.

Activities of the Incident Management process:

Incident detection and recording


Classification and initial support
Investigation and diagnosis
Resolution and recovery
Incident closure
Incident ownership, monitoring, tracking and communication

These elements provides a baseline for management review.

Incident Management Quick Overview

Mission Statement
Restore normal state IT service operations as quickly as possible to minimize the
adverse impact on business operations.

Process Goal Achieve the process mission by implementing:


• ITIL-aligned Incident Management Policies, Processes and Procedures
• Incident escalation standards
• Dedicated Incident Management Process Owner
• Incident classification categories
• Incident reports
• Incident communications and education for IT
staff
Critical Success Factors (CSFs)
The Critical Success Factors are:
• Maintaining IT Service Quality
• Maintaining Customer Satisfaction
• Resolving Incidents Within Established Service Times

Key Activities The key activities for this process are:


• Detect and record incidents
• Classify incidents
• Provide initial incident support
• Prioritize incidents based on impact and urgency
• Investigate and diagnose incidents
• Resolve incidents and recover service per agreed service levels
• Close incidents
• Maintain ownership, monitoring, tracking and communications about incidents
• Provide management information about Incident Management quality and
operations

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Examples of Key Process Performance


Indicators (KPIs) are shown in the list below. Each one is mapped to a Critical
Success Factor (CSF).

Maintaining IT Service Quality

• Number of Severity 1 incidents (total and by category)


• Number of Severity 2 incidents (total and by category)
• Number of other incidents (total and by category)
• Number of incidents incorrectly categorized
• Number of incidents incorrectly escalated
• Number of incidents bypassing Service Desk
• Number of incidents not closed/resolved with workarounds
• Number of incidents resolved before customers notice
• Number of incidents reopened

Maintaining Customer Satisfaction

• Number of User/Customer surveys sent


• Number of User/Customer surveys responded to
• Average User/Customer survey score (total and by question category)
• Average queue time waiting for Incident response

Resolving Incidents Within Established Service Times


• Number of incidents logged
• Number of incidents resolved by Service Desk
• Number of incidents escalated by Service Desk
• Average time to restore service from point of first call
• Average time to restore Severity 1 incidents
• Average time to restore Severity 2 incidents

The Difference Between Incident Management And Problem


Management

Incidents and Service Requests are formally managed through a staged process to
conclusion. This process is referred to as the "Incident Management Lifecycle".
The objective of the Incident Management Lifecycle is to restore the service as
quickly as possible to meet Service Level Agreements. The process is primarily
aimed at the user level.

Problem Management deals with resolving the underlying cause of one or more
Incidents. The focus of Problem Management is to resolve the root cause of errors
and to find permanent solutions. Although every effort will be made to resolve the
problem as quickly as possible this process is focused on the resolution of the
problem rather than the speed of the resolution. This process deals at the enterprise
level.

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Problem Management
ITIL Problem Management

The objective of Problem Management is to minimize the impact of problems on


the organisation. Problem Management plays an important role in the detection and
providing solutions to problems (work arounds & known errors) and prevents their
reoccurrence.

A 'Problem' is the unknown cause of one or more incidents, often identified as a


result of multiple similar incidents.

A 'Known error' is an identified root cause of a Problem.

There is freqently a Conflict Between Incident Management And Problem


Management

The Problem Management process uses these inputs:

Incident Records And Details About Incidents


Known Errors
Information about CIs From The CMDB
Information From Other Processes

The outputs of the PM process:

RFCs (Request for Change)


Management Information
Work Arounds
Known Errors
Update Problem Records (solved problems records if the known error is resolved)

Problem management Overview

Mission Statement
Minimize the adverse impacts of incidents and problems on the business caused by
errors in the IT infrastructure and initiate actions to prevent recurrence of incidents
related to those errors.

Process Goal
Achieve the process mission by implementing:
• ITIL-aligned Problem Management Policies, Processes and Procedures
• Dedicated Problem Manager
• Problem classification categories
• Problem trend
reports
• Publicized Known Errors
• Problem analysis toolkit
• Root Cause Analysis skills and culture
• Actions to minimize impact of problems

Critical Success Factors (CSFs)


The Critical Success Factors (CSFs) are:
• Avoiding Repeated Incidents
• Minimizing Impact Of Problems

Key Activities
The key activities for this process are:
• Provide problem control
• Provide error
control
• Proactively manage problems
• Conduct major problem reviews
• Provide management information about Problem Management quality and
operations

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)


Examples of Key Process Performance Indicators (KPIs) are shown in the list
below. Each one is mapped to a Critical Success Factor (CSF).

Avoiding Repeated Incidents

• Number of repeat incidents


• Number of existing Problems
• Number of existing Known
Errors

Minimizing Impact Of Problems

• Average time for diagnosis of Problems


• Average time for resolution of Known Errors
• Number of open Problems
• Number of open Known Errors
• Number of repeat Problems
• Number of Major Incident/Problem reviews

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Change Management
ITIL Change Management

— Goal : Ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for
efficient and prompt handling of all changes, in order to minimize the impact
of Change-related incidents upon service quality, and consequently to
improve the the day-to-day operations of the organization

— Input : RFCs, CMDB, Forward Schedule of Changes(FSC))


— Activities
• Filtering changes
• Managing changes and the change process
• Chairing the CAB and CAB/EC
• Reviewing and closing RFCs
• Management reports
— Benefits
• Better alignment of IT service to business requirements
• Increased visibility and communication on changes to both
business and service support staff
• Improved risk assessment
• Reduced adverse impact of changes on the quality of services
and on SLAs
• Improved problem and availability management through the use
of valuable management information relating to changes
• Fewer changes to be backed-out

Change Management Overview

Mission Statement
Coordinate and control all changes to IT services to minimize adverse impacts of
those changes to business operations and the users of IT services.

Process Goal
Achieve the process mission by implementing:
• ITIL-aligned Change Management Policies, Processes and Procedures
• Standardized methods and techniques for efficient handling of changes
• Dedicated Change Manager
• Change Advisory Board
• Forward Schedule of Changes (FSC)
• Published Service Availability (PSA) reports
• Proper levels of pre and post Change communications with customers and users

Critical Success Factors (CSFs)


The Critical Success Factors (CSFs) are:
• Controlling Changes
• Making Quick And Accurate Changes Based On Business Priorities
• Protecting Services When Making Changes

Key Activities
The key activities for this process are:
• Accept Changes
• Prioritize and classify changes
• Coordinate change impact assessment
• Coordinate approval of changes
• Coordinate scheduling of changes
• Coordinate implementation of changes
• Conduct post implementation reviews
• Provide management information about Change Management quality and
operations

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)


Examples of Key Process Performance Indicators (KPIs) are shown in the list
below. Each one is mapped to a Critical Success Factor (CSF).

Controlling Changes

• Number of RFCs processed


• Number of RFCs rejected
• Number of unauthorized changes detected
• Number of RFCs implemented on schedule
• Number of RFCs requiring reschedules

Making Quick and Accurate Changes Based On Business Priorities

• Number of RFCs marked as URGENT


• Number of RFCs not tested prior to implementation
• Number of RFCs that failed
• Number of RFCs without business case
• Number of RFCs bypassing CAB or CAB/EC

Protecting Services When making Changes

• Number of SEV1 incidents caused by RFC implementation


• Number of SEV2 incidents caused by RFC implementation
• Number of other incidents caused by RFC implementation
• Number of RFCs without a backup strategy

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Configuration Management
ITIL Configuration Management

— Goals : Providing information on the IT infrastructure to all other processes


and IT management. Enabling control of the infrastructure by monitoring
and maintaining information on all the resources needed to deliver services

— Activities
• Planning.
• Identification and naming.
• Control.
• Status accounting.
• Verification & audit.

— Benefits
• Providing accurate information on Configuration Items (CIs) and
their documentation
• Controlling valuable CIs
• Facilitating adherence to legal obligations
• Helping with financial and expenditure planning
• Making software changes visible
• Contributing to contingency planning
• Supporting and improving Release management
• Allowing the organization to perform impact analysis and schedule
changes safely and efficiently
• Providing problem management with data on trends
Configuration Management Overview

Mission Statement
To identify, record and report on configuration items and their relationships that
underpin IT services.

Process Goal
Achieve the process mission by implementing:
• ITIL-aligned Configuration Management policies, processes and procedures
• Dedicated Configuration Management Process Owner
• Configuration Management Database (CMDB) data schema
• Proper authorization and control over CMDB data
• Periodic audits and reviews of IT services and their configuration items.
• Accurate information on IT services and their configuration items
• Verification of configuration records against the IT infrastructure and correction
actions for any exceptions found.

Critical Success Factors (CSFs)


The Critical Success Factors (CSFs) are:
• Managing Configuration Item information
• Providing capability to perform risk analysis of changes and releases

Key Activities
The key activities for this process are:
• Plan for Configuration Management databases and activities
• Identify Configuration Items
• Control Configuration Item information
• Perform status accounting
• Perform verification and audit of Configuration Management databases
• Provide management information about Configuration Management quality and
operations

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)


Examples of Key Process Performance Indicators (KPIs) are shown in the list
below. Each one is mapped to a Critical Success Factor (CSF) that was listed
above.

Managing Configuration Item Information

• Number of Configuration Items logged and


tracked
• Number of Configuration Items with attribute failures
• Number of changes to Configuration Item attributes
• Number of additional Configuration Items
• Number of deletions of Configuration Items
• Number and frequency of exceptions in configuration audits

Providing Capability To Perform Risk Analysis Of Changes and Releases

• Number of incidents caused by inaccurate configuration data


• Percentage of Services tracked with Configuration Items versus known products
and services

Software tools
Most organisations should required a Configuration management-based tool,
capable of storing all relevant configuration items (CIs). Such a tool should have
the following facilities:
• Problems, RFCs are stored upon the same database in an easily accesible format.
• The ability to identify the relationship among CIs (physical and logical), and
between CIs and RFCs, RFCs and Problems, RFCs and CI

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Release Management
This discipline of IT Service Management is the management of all software
configuration items within the organisation. It is responsible for the management of
software development, installation and support of an organisation’s software
products.

Software is often not regarded as a tangible asset because of its intangible nature,
which results in it not being effectively controlled. There can be several versions of
the same software within the organization, and there can also be unlicensed and
illegal copies of externally provided software.

The practice of effective Software Control & Distribution (SC&D) involves the
creation of a Definitive Software Library (DSL), into which the master copies of all
software is stored and from here its control and release is managed. The DSL
consists of a physical store and a logical store.
The physical store is where the master copies of all software media are stored. This
tends to be software that has been provided from an external source.
The logical store is the index of all software and releases, versions, etc.
highlighting where the physical media can be located. The logical store may also be
used for the storage of software developed within the organization.

SC&D procedures include the management of the software Configuration Items


and their distribution and implementation into a production environment. This will
involve the definition of a release programme suitable for the organization, the
definition of how version control will be implemented, and the procedures
surrounding how software will be built, released and audited.

Release Management Overview

Mission Statement
Implement changes to IT services taking a holistic (people, process, technology)
view which considers all aspects of a change including planning, designing,
building, testing, training, communications and deployment activities.

Process Goal
Achieve the process mission by implementing:
• ITIL-aligned Release Management policies, processes and procedures
• Collaboration with those organizations outside of IT that impact IT services to
plan and ensure impacted stakeholders are involved and that the service is
appropriately tested (from a customer’s perspective) following implementation
• Dedicated Release Manager
• Actions for planned Releases to analyze impacts and, wherever possible,
coordinate efforts (such as packaging Release Units)
• A set of standard repositories for maintaining all authorized versions of software
(Definitive Software Library – DSL)
• A set of recognized storage locations for spare parts and other hardware
(Definitive Hardware Stores – DHS)

Critical Success Factors (CSFs)


The Critical Success Factors (CSFs) are:
• Producing Operable Solutions
• Controlling Releases Into Production
• Implementing Releases Into Production On Time

Key Activities
The key activities for this process are:
• Conduct release planning
• Coordinate design, building and configuring of releases
• Coordinate release acceptance
• Conduct rollout planning
• Coordinate release communications, preparations and training activities
• Coordinate distribution and installation of releases
• Provide management information about Release Management quality and
operations

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)


Examples of Key Process Performance Indicators (KPIs) are shown in the list
below. Each one is mapped to a Critical Success Factor (CSF).

Producing Operable Solutions

• Number of implementations bypassing Change Management


• Number of implementations utilizing non-standard components
• Number of implementations utilizing non-licensed components
• Number of implementations non-authorized
• Number of incidents caused by releases
• Number of failed Releases

Controlling Releases Into Production

• Number of Releases implemented without a corresponding RFC


• Number of urgent releases
• Number of releases implemented but not adequately tested
• Number of releases implemented without operational assurance

Implementing Releases Into Production On Time

• Number of Releases implemented


• Number of Releases implemented late

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Service Desk
Though not a process, the Service Desk is an important function within the service
support set. It is the first, and ideally single point of contact for users (SPOC).

The two main focuses of the Service Desk are: Incident Control and
Communication.

The Service Desk handles all incoming calls and only escalates them to the second
or third tier support when necessary.
Ideally, the Service Desk will have access to a Knowledge Base, which will contain
a list of known solutions for common incidents. This way queries or incidents can
be solved by the Service Desk staff without taking time from skilled IT technicians.

For the customer the advantage is that they don’t have to ring around searching for
the right person to solve their problem and for IT personnel it means that they only
have to deal with issues that are related to their skills or area of responsibility.

The Service Desk is responsible for keeping the customer informed on the status of
their request.

A Service Catalogue should be available which lists all of the services that IT
provides to the business. This catalogue should list the services from a users
perspective. A suggestion from the SLM2000 Service Catalogue template for
information to be included in a Service Catalogue is listed below. Actual
components required in a Service Catalogue will differ depending on the business
situation however.

IT Service Management Service Catalogue


1 Executive Overview
2 Scope
3 Service Summary Sheet
4 Service
A
4.1 Description
4.2 Customers
4.3 Options
4.4 Price List
4.5 Dependencies & Contributors
4.6 Functional Specification
4.7 Technical Specification
4.8 Support Activities
4.9 Customizations or Variants
4.10 Existing SLAs
4.11 Restrictions
5 Appendices
6 Terminology

Service Desk Function Overview

Mission Statement
Provide a strategic central point of contact for customers and support the Incident
Management process by providing an operational single point of contact to manage
incidents to resolution.

Function Goal
Achieve the function mission by implementing:
• ITIL-aligned Service Desk function
• Dedicated Service Desk Function Owner
• Centralized function for incident and request handling
• Ongoing monitoring and management of customer satisfaction
• Strong levels of incident communications and ownership
• Right level of support and customer care skills among Service Desk staff and
management

Critical Success Factors (CSFs)


The Critical Success Factors (CSFs) are:
• Ensure long term Customer retention and satisfaction
• Assist in the identification of business opportunities.
• Reduce support costs by the efficient use of resource and technology

Key Activities
The key activities for this function are:
• Provide advice and guidance to customers
• Communicate and promote IT services
• Manage and control service communications to customers, suppliers and the
business
• Coordinate Incident Management activities
• Manage people, processes and technologies that form the contact infrastructure
• Provide management information about Service Desk quality and operations

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)


Examples of Key Process Performance Indicators (KPIs) are shown in the list
below. Each one is mapped to a Critical Success Factor (CSF).

Ensure Long Term Customer Retention and Satisfaction

• Percent Of Customers Given Satisfaction Surveys


• Customer Satisfaction Rating Of Service Desk
• Percent Of Caller Hold Times Within Service Targets
• Percent Of Calls Responded To Within Service Targets
• Number Of Incident Records Not Yet Closed
• Number Of Calls Abandoned

Assist In The Identification Of Business Opportunities


• Number Of Calls Referred To Sales Organization
• Dollar Value Of Referred Calls To Sales Organization

Reduce Support Costs By Efficient Use Of Resources and Technologies

• Percent Of Calls Resolved At The Service Desk Without Escalation


• Staff Turnover Rate
• Overall Cost Per Call.

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