Incident management represents the entry-level cog in an effective IT service management machine. An incident management platform enables organizations to establish workflows to analyze support tickets and filter them on through the service desk based on the various challenges and demands they face. Managing incident workflows effectively is key to maximizing efficiency in this area and understanding the five critical elements of an incident workflow can help you get started in this area.
1. Initial Submission
The first time a service desk worker sees a ticket he/she has the option of accepting it, submitting to the next stage of the module or resolving it immediately. Each choice comes with consequences, however, this workflow creates considerable potential for automation as certain ticket types will always be handled in the same way.
2. Dealing With a New Incident
Once a new incident has been identified the hope is that it can be resolved immediately. This is not always the case. A common incident or one that comes up often may be easily resolvable, but some tickets will need to be escalated to the next workflow stage where it will get more attention. A ticket is considered a part of the new state of incident management in this situation and is pushed forward into the in-progress queue if it is promoted.
3. Incidents in Progress
The in-progress state of incident management is where a support team needs to really pull out all stops to resolve the incident. Resolving the incident at this point is key, in large part, because the next workflow state is primarily made up of waiting for a higher up to address the issue. If promotion must happen again, then the incident needs to be escalated. However, this workflow state also includes an option for organizations to resubmit the ticket back to the beginning if something has changed to make such an effort worthwhile.
4. Waiting for More Details
There are times when you need more information, need a higher up to look closely at the incident or otherwise need somebody to get involved in the process to help resolve the incident. This state of the workflow can be key in resolving particularly tricky incidents, but issues would ideally be dealt with prior to this state of the workflow to avoid the time spent waiting on a possible fix.
5. Closing the Incident
When a support ticket is pending close there are only two options - close it out because its been resolved or acknowledge that the resolution has failed and put back into the in progress state. Once closed, a ticket can be reopened as needed.
Managing workflows efficiently is a critical part of successful incident management, which is, in turn, a critical component of any ITSM strategy.