An incident is any event that disrupts or could disrupt service at an organization. It is an indication of a problem in the business process. It can affect customers, employees, information security, and other business operations. If not handled properly, incidents can lead to worse problems and may even be catastrophic for an organization. That’s why it is important for any business to have an incident management process in place.
What is an incident management process?
Incident management is the process of identifying and resolving adverse incidents. It is largely proactive but can also be reactive. It can help in optimizing facility management, automating emergency response, and handling human resource grievances. Software systems are usually used to simplify incident management. Many of these systems are designed uniquely to suit the particular purpose of a business.
Incident management plays a vital role in an organization. It facilitates an efficient workflow to optimize business productivity and ensure customer satisfaction. It is thus essential for a business to implement an incident management process flow.
The main steps involved in incident management
Having a structured workflow ensures that incidents are dealt with effectively. It optimizes the resolution of issues for both customers and the business. It allows for a consistent approach to automatic or repeatable processes. It provides transparency and mitigates organizational risk.
The incident management process generally follows this workflow:
1. Incident identification
Incident reports originate from various sources. Most of them come from walk-ups, phone calls, emails, or support chats. Once an incident is reported, the service desk decides if the issue is an actual incident or a mere request. Requests are handled differently and are categorized under request fulfillment. On the other hand, incidents are logged as tickets.
2. Incident logging
After the issue is identified, the incident is logged in as a ticket. It contains user information, incident description, and other relevant details. It is important to gather as many specific details as possible. In this step, incidents are prioritized and then categorized.
3. Incident categorization
Incident categorization facilitates accurate incident tracking. This step in the process identifies patterns and trends. Appropriate measures are then put in place to optimize problem management.
Incidents are classified to determine how and by whom they should be handled. They are usually assigned a category and at least one subcategory. This allows issues to be automatically prioritized.
4. Incident prioritization
After categorization, incidents are prioritized according to their urgency. This is determined by their impact on the customers and on the business itself. Incidents that affect a significant number of customers or have a serious financial impact are given high priority. Those that do not interrupt the business and can be worked around are given low priority.
5. Incident response
Once incidents are identified, categorized, and prioritized, the service desk makes the appropriate response to resolve the issue. Incident response can be broken down into five basic steps:
The service desk asks customers a few standard troubleshooting questions to get a description of their problem or concerns.
When incidents require advanced support, they are escalated to certified support staff. Depending on the case, incidents are forwarded to a technical support group or to upper management.
Investigation and diagnosis
This process takes place during troubleshooting where incidents are verified and diagnosed. Corresponding solutions are then applied afterward.
Resolution and recovery
Once incidents are resolved, the service desk confirms that the customer’s issue has been addressed. Details leading to the successful resolution are then documented.
Before an incident is marked closed, feedback is requested from the customer. This ensures that the incident was handled properly. Usually, a customer is given a timeframe to confirm that their issue has been resolved. If the given time lapses, the incident is automatically closed.
After, an email is sent to invite them to complete a satisfaction survey.
The importance of incident management planning process
The incident management process does not end with incident closure. It is vital to evaluate data from trends or patterns in incident categories so that recurring issues can be identified, and areas in management can be improved. This information can help businesses make decisions to improve their quality of service. This also increases customer satisfaction and decreases future incident reports.
Incident handling affects the success of a business. Companies, no matter the industry, must take the time to set up an incident response plan. This includes having a quality monitoring system and adequate business recovery support. Once an effective process flow is in place, any incident can be resolved in a timely manner.
Ensure that an effective incident management process is in place to prevent future recurrence of issues. Implement standard procedures for an efficient and prompt response. Place importance on analysis, management, and documentation of incidents. By promptly resolving incidents, customer satisfaction is met, and business perception is improved.
Kissflow’s case management features give you all the tools you need to manage incident management. In just a few minutes, you can create a quick case board with multiple steps and an unlimited number of resolutions. Kissflow keeps case management simple, but powerful and gives everyone visibility on how best to respond to incidents.
Try case management in Kissflow and see how easy it is to organize your incident management.