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The ITIL policy of priority is based on the concept that Priority = Impact + Urgency By looking

at something from the combined perspective of Impact (often referred to as severity or degree of
failure) and Urgency (time sensitivity and business criticality) we can derive Priority. They key
difference that ITIL presents with the concept of Priority versus the classic usage of Severity is
that severity alone does not provide enough context for Prioritization. The urgency factor needs
to be added to severity in order to provide an accurate understanding of how to prioritize activity.

Priority Model Impact is a measure of the degree of realized or potential business process
failure caused by an incident, problem, change or release. In one sense you can equate Impact to
equal the extent to which agreed service level agreements are or will be degraded. The scope of
service degradation is measured by the number of services, systems or users affected. Generally,
impact is differentiated by scope:

 High: Business Unit, floor, branch or LOB

 Medium: small group of users

 Low: single user

However, impact can also be altered by VIP status, which can be based on organizational
hierarchy (e.g. executives, VP's, managing directors) or a particular role (i.e. specific users who
justify immediate or special attention based on business role). In the case of users with VIP
status, impact can be assigned as follows:

 High: a group of users with VIP status

 Medium: a single user with VIP status

Urgency Since a high-impact incident does not by default, have to be solved immediately, it is
not necessarily a high priority incident. Urgency provides a second measure of business
criticality, which indicates the necessary speed of resolving an incident of a certain impact.
Whereas impact is defined by scope, urgency is defined by time. It is determined by the time
sensitivity requirement for a resolution, as measured in terms of financial, brand, or security
impact of a particular service's downtime. For Example: for the same period of downtime, a core
business service will cost the business more than a back office administration service. Therefore,
urgency is also based on levels of time sensitivity:

 High: Core Business Service — an activity that has a direct financial, brand or security
impact on the business organization (e.g. trading applications)

 Medium: Support Service — an activity that directly supports the execution of a core
business service (e.g. printing services)

 Low: Non-urgent Service — an activity that does not directly support a core business
service and is not time sensitive (e.g. Internal Company Intranet Portal)
Problem Priority Matrix