Incident management is used to deal with incidents. It is a systematic approach to identifying, assessing, containing and resolving impacts on business operations.
It is designed to return operations to normal as quickly as possible. Ideally without any negative impact on the core business. This means that sometimes the handling is done via short-term workarounds, while the actual problem of the incident is identified afterwards. The primary goal is that proper operation is restored.
The incident is registered and the solution documented. Was the requester helped or is the affected system working again after the interruption? Then the incident can be resolved and closed.
Identification of the requester / the originator: Depending on the input channel (telephone, live chat, e-mail, selfhelp, service portal), the enquirer is automatically identified. Via their telephone number, e-mail address, name or a user ID. Fast, simple and reliable.
Originator: The next step is to record the object in the system - for example, a component, a device, an installation or a system. For this purpose, your employees have direct access to the Configuration database CMDB
Object assignment: The next step is to record in the system which object it is - for example, a service or a component, a device, a plant or a system. For this purpose, your employees have direct access to the configuration database CMDB.
Causal investigation: What exactly happened? What is the impact of the incident and its potential effects on operations?
Solution finding: Based on the assigned object and the recorded information, the employees in first level support can access the knowledge database. If this is not sufficient to solve the problem, the request can be forwarded to the specialist department without delay.
Incidents can disrupt operations or cause temporary downtime. They can also lead to lost productivity. Organisations recognise that incident management and the processes involved are becoming increasingly important. and take the associated processes seriously, as there are many benefits to doing so:
Incorporate best practices and processes to better respond to incidents and prevent future ones.
An optimised workflow can speed up resolution if, for example, it uses machine learning (ML) to connect incidents to the appropriate solutions and automatically delegates them to the right groups. Service desk staff can directly access all necessary information and immediately implement recommended solutions. A service portal for major incidents speeds up problem resolution when the expertly correct work groups work closely with the responsible ones to restore services.
Customers can easily contact support to track incidents and, if necessary, resolve them themselves, e.g. with ready-made checklists. They can contact support from anywhere and from any device, and also see the status of their cases in detail from start to finish with the solution. A better customer experience is achieved through a clear service portal as a central platform. It supports transparent and mutual exchange.
The service quality opens up for the customer through improved communication and appropriate training of the staff. Rewarding service quality instead of quantity with a strong customer orientation is the key to success. Step by step, agents are empowered to take on more responsibility.
Staff are then able to resolve incidents more quickly based on established processes.
A service level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a service provider and a customer that specifies the type and quality of service to be provided. The agreement may also specify the level of support that the service provider will provide to the customer. SLAs are often used in IT service management (ITSM), but can be applied to any type of service. The implementation offers advantages for both the customer and the service provider, as service requests can be prioritised by the user.
To prevent incidents, it is important to have a robust AIOPs (Artificial Intelligence Operations) system. This system can help identify potential problems and take corrective action before they occur. In addition, well-trained and experienced staff can help identify and resolve issues before they become major problems.
One of the benefits of a lower MTTR (Mean Time to Resolution) is that it can help reduce the downtime of your system. This can be beneficial in many situations, such as when you are trying to avoid downtime during a critical period or minimise the impact of a failure. In addition, reducing MTTR can also improve the overall availability of your system.
From the above, there are measurement parameters for service reporting. Service quality is often difficult to measure, but it is important to track it and quickly identify deviations. Two important ways to track are reports and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Reports can be internal or external and provide a good insight into performance. KPIs tend to be more focused on specific aspects of service quality and provide a quick way to see if there are areas that need improvement. Both reporting and KPIs are important tools for tracking service quality. Both allow companies to get a complete picture of how their service is performing and identify areas that need special attention.
Make sure that you enter all relevant data at 1st level so that sufficient information is available for later review and reporting.
Standardise processes for all users. Ensure that each team member uses the same methodology and uses the same sources. This will ensure consistent and uniform quality.
Communication and documentation rules are the basis for effective collaboration. Here you should also determine which communication channels the staff members use and how documentation is recorded.
Without these framework conditions, misunderstandings are more likely to occur and ultimately lead to dissatisfaction in the team and also with the end user (customer).
Regardless of the urgency of the incident or how high / low the priority is, you should simply keep track of everything in the tool - and in as much detail as possible. This is the best way to keep track of all your incidents. Automations can combine logs from different systems and document them to the process.
Categorisation should be thoughtful to the issue. At the start, less is more. Optimisation should take place as the level of maturity increases. "Other" should not exist. This also applies to determining the priority of an incident. Aids here are the definition of a matrix of urgency and impact.
In order to support business operations efficiently and effectively, standard solutions are another key. Here it is a matter of drawing from past requests and subjecting the solutions found to a review after an incident has been closed. The effectiveness of solutions should be measured in order to develop standard solutions for incidents or major incidents.
Standard Incident Management processes form the basis for a Knowledge Database (KNB). All relevant information is made available from the Incident Record. The KNB guarantees that problems are solved quickly. The resolution time can be dramatically reduced. This also applies to the provision of interim solutions, e.g. in the case of known errors.
Employees need support, e.g. through standardised training. This applies to the tool users, it supports the incident manager and should also be a standard process for continuous improvement (CSI) for other roles. Well-trained employees are also satisfied employees, another key to effective collaboration and competent communication.
Another important consideration is to avoid unnecessary notifications. Plan well and categorise events so that you can identify them immediately and track them better. Separate the important from the not so important. What can be resolved quickly, where are important IT services affected, what are the issues that can be assigned to 3rd level support? Not every incident is a malfunction that hinders service operations or has an impact on a running infrastructure.
Investigate incidents and analyse their causes. Based on previous incidents, define preventive measures that can be taken for these types of incidents in the future. This will ensure complete documentation.
In a complex technical environment, disruptions cannot be completely ruled out. However, it is important that companies address faults and problems quickly and in a structured manner. EcholoN's efficient incident management optimally supports your service desk staff: even before the first direct contact, an automated contact identification takes place. In the further course, templates guarantee a structured, flexible and secure workflow.
And afterwards, data-based analyses of costs and services can be created at the touch of a button. A variety of ready-made reports for incident management are available for this purpose. You can also create your own reports to determine specific KPIs. In this way, you can objectively assess the performance of your support team and prove it to internal and external customers.
The process-oriented workflow ensures maximum transparency and structure in the area of incident management. It facilitates the resolution, follow-up and documentation of incidents of all kinds. In the end, everyone involved benefits from this: the staff at the service desk, who are relieved of time, as well as the customers, whose requests are processed and answered quickly, competently and reliably.