Getting Help for Your IT Issues


By James Makela Certified Six Sigma Master Blackbelt, BAM, ASET
22 June 2020

Submitting tickets for IT help can get mired in back and forth communications trying to establish best business value to determine the priority that tickets are assigned.  Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) provides guidance for the practices for IT Service Management (ITSM).

The basic ITIL process for servicing the ticket as described by ManageEngine is shown below:

(The definitive guide to ITIL incident management)

The clients of the IT Support function are responsible for performing the first two steps of this process.  Notice that this process deals with “Incidents.”  Some IT Help tickets are not Incidents.

Incidents Vs IT Requests.

Incidents disrupt the continuity of organizational process flow. (You can’t complete your processes at all or in the normal manner.)

IT requests ask for something new or different from what exits today. Typically these are driven by capacity changes in the organization or upgrades to newer models of equipment.

The guidance indicates that the priority of an Incident should be determined by Urgency and Impact. There is little guidance on determining the best business value from this prioritization process, according to Greg Rich of Vivantiois in “The Problems With ITIL’s Approach To Support Ticket Prioritization.”

That ITIL methodology essentially is a matrix of Low, Medium and High rankings of Impact and Urgency as shown in the table below:

At Kingston Business Solutions, we are encouraging clients to use an additional matrix to help categorize their reported issue.  It is desirable to have the support ticket address elements that make up Urgency as well as reporting the impact of the issue.  The matrix to help assure best value to the organization allows a deeper dimension of describing Urgency with how severe the Incident is and what the Probability of Occurrence is. This new Urgency matrix is shown below:

The IT Support ticket would now include a description of the Severity, the Probability of Occurrence and the Impact of the issue.

This information can be used by the IT Support function to determine the Next, Soon, and Plan categories as the Urgency levels and use the Impact in a new Prioritization matrix to determine an improved focus on the value of the priority to the organization.

This new Prioritization Matrix is that is to be used with the new Urgency Matrix and is shown below:

The service level that would initially be pursued based using this new Prioritization method would be as shown below: (The service level also would be in compliance with any existing Service Level Agreements (SLA) that are in place with specific clients.)

With the client passing on to the IT Support function, the descriptions of the Severity, the Probability of Occurrence and the Impact of the IT issue on the ticket – the determination of the best classification of priority can be accomplished quickly and with the reduction of multiple communications about the issue just to get it prioritized appropriately.  The appropriate classification of priority is that which allows tickets for a given organization to be addressed in a fashion that assigns graded importance to the client’s organization for all their tickets.  

References

“The Problems with ITIL’s Approach to Support Ticket Prioritization” by Greg Rich of Vivantio

“The definitive guide to ITIL incident management” by ManageEngine

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