Incident signifies any issue or hindrance which is observed in environment & which needs to be resolved at the earliest to maintain the ease of working. Incident Management deals with all such incidents or issues that occur in environment & keeps a track of their life cycle. Incident management restores the normal service operation as quickly as possible following an incident, while minimizing impact to business operations and ensuring quality is maintained. ServiceNow platform supports the incident management process with the ability to log incidents, classify according to impact and urgency, assign to appropriate groups, escalate, and manage through to resolution and reporting. Any ESS user can log in to ServiceNow to record the incident and track it through the entire incident life cycle until service has been restored and the issue has been completely resolved.
Within the platform, incidents are handled with the task record system. Each incident is generated through a variety of methods as a task record, and populated with the pertinent information in individual fields. These tasks can be assigned to appropriate service desk members, who will deal with the task as appropriate. Once the incident has been properly dealt with, it is closed.
CREATION OF INCIDENT
Incident life cycle involves many phases which are discussed below in detail:
- Identifying Issue
- Creating respective Incident
- Defining the category of Incident
- Defining the priority of incident
- Analyzing the incident & assigning it to concerned group
- Closure of incident
- IDENTIFYING ISSUE
In any IT environment it is important to identify the issue as soon as it occurs , so that is can be worked upon at the earliest & resolved to restore the services back. The more time we take to identifying the issue the more risky it becomes. As soon as issue is identify, ticket/incident should be logged in with proper details so that the assigned team can work efficiently.
- CREATING RESPECTIVE INCIDENT
Incident can be created in multiple ways after it has been identified. It can be logged in by below mentioned methids:
- Employee Self Service portal: Click on Incident in ‘Self Service’ Application & this will open a page where user need to fill in all the details . Once all the details are provided , click on submit.
2. Record Producer: Record producer is a module in service catalog which is available to users to create incident records.
3. Inbound Email Action: Using this property, incidents are automatically created whenever a email is received by servicenow instance. So in case you want to log a ticket , simply write a email to the servicenow instance. It works only if this function is enabled in your instance.
- DEFINING THE CATEGORY
Incident has field category which has multiple options for the user to select .User should select proper category to define the incident in justified class. It makes easier for the technical team to categorize the incident & work on it.
Select any justified category from the options shown above & next is to select the priority.
- DEFINING THE PRIORITY
Priority is a field which defines the impact & risk associated with the incident, in case incident is very urgent & need to be resolved as soon as possible , the priority should be selected as ‘Priority – 1’. Similarly if issue in not very urgent it can be made as ‘Priority – 3’ or ‘ Priority – 4’.
Priority is calculated on the basis of 2 fields which are available in the form : they are impact & urgency.
ServiceNOW has a module ‘Priority Lookup’ where user can go and define the cases of impact, urgency & priority. On the basis of impact & urgency , system calculates the priority & set the value in field.
- ANALYZING INCIDENT & ASSIGNING IT TO CONCERNED GROUP
Once incident has been created with justified category & priority , it is assigned to the service desk which follows the basic troubleshooting steps & to figure out the root cause & fix it. If the ticket is not resolved it is further analysed that to which technical group it should be routed.
Ticket if not resolved by service desk team after following basic troubleshooting steps. it is routed to technical team to investigate further & come up with root cause & resolution. Technical team then work on it & try to fix it. In the process , many times it is required to contact with the customer, this communication with the customer is carried out with the help of ‘Additional Comments’ field available in the form . It is a field which is visible & accessible to customer. Customer can update this field any time details are neede.
After all the case/incident is investigated by the technical team , ticket is resolved by providing proper resolution codes & steps taken to resolve the ticket. Once all the details are provided, incident is moved to ‘Resolved’ status.
- RESOLUTION ACCEPTANCE
After resolution, a email is sent to the customer to accept or reject the resolution provided to the incident. In case customer is satisfied with the resolution , he/she would accept the resolution & this moves the incident to CLOSE state. Similarly if user is not satisfied with the resolution , he/she rejects the resolution & this in turn moves the incident to REOPEN state & is again assigned to last assignment group for further investigation.
- CLOSURE OF INCIDENT
If user accepts the resolution, the incident is moved to CLOSED state & a survey/email is sent to the customer to rate the resolution or share the feedback.
- CSAT : CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY
The survey which is sent after incident closure is known as ‘Customer Satisfaction Survey’. It has multiple questions which ask for the rating of resolution provided. Customer fills in the survey & share it with the technical team.
SERVICE LEVEL MANAGEMENT
A Service Level Agreement, or SLA, is a record which defines a set amount of time for a task to reach a certain condition. If the task does not reach the condition by a set amount of time, it is marked Breached.
SLAs are used to ensure that a task reaches end conditions within a certain amount of time, such as ensuring that an incident is closed or resolved within a few business days. The success rate can be reported on, and actions can be triggered at different times during the SLA’s life-cycle (for example, notifying the manager when the SLA reaches 75% of its allotted time.)
SLAs are the agreement between the company & client which defines the timeline in which incident should be closed or resolved. In case incident is not closed/resolved within the timeline , company is penalized as per the amount mentioned in the contract.
SLA can be of 3 types:
1.SLA : Agreement between customer & company
2. OLA : Agreement withing organisation & between teams in same organisation
3.Underpinning contract : Agreement between company & vendor/third party.
SLA attached to any incident can be seen at the SLA related list at the bottom of ticket: