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Best Practice - Incident Resolution Workflow

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Best Practice - Incident Resolution Workflow

The Best Practice - Incident Resolution Workflow provides an ITIL-based best practice workflow to power the resolution of incidents.

Incident resolution guidelines suggest that instead of closing the incident, the service desk sets the incident state to Resolved. This state provides a mechanism to verify that the caller is satisfied with the resolution and agrees with closing the incident. This workflow is automatically activated on instances.
Note: Use this plugin to build a workflow (it does not install a workflow).
Figure 1. Incident Resolution Workflow
incident resolution workflow

Resolve Incident

Users with the itil_admin role have the capability to resolve as well as close incidents whereas users with the itil role have the capability to resolve incidents with no option to close. Users with itil role sees a Resolve Incident button toward the top of the form as well have the option to select Resolved from the State choice list:
Figure 2. Incident State Drop Down List

Incident Closed Email

If an incident is closed, an email is sent to the end user.
Figure 3. Incident Closed Email
incident closed email


  • Closed incidents are read-only for non-administrators.
  • Incidents can only be reopened by users with the admin role.
  • Users with the itil role cannot reopen closed incidents.
  • ESS users have a Reopen Incident link on resolved Incidents.

Required Fields

Close code and Close notes fields are mandatory whenever an incident is Resolved or Closed. When an Incident state is set to resolved, two fields display on the incident form: Close code and Close notes. These fields require the help desk to select a Closed code and enter Closed notes detailing how the incident was resolved.
Note: If custom incident forms have been created, the Close code and Close notes fields may need to be added manually.
Figure 4. Closed Code and Closed Notes Fields
closed code and closed notes field

Resolve Email

When an incident is set to a 'Resolved' incident state an email notification is sent to the caller. If the caller is satisfied with the resolution, no action is required on the caller's behalf. ServiceNow automatically closes the incident after 24 hours. If the caller is not satisfied, s/he can reopen the incident by clicking the link within the email notification. This creates an outgoing Please Reopen email message. The user can add text to the outgoing email if they want to add any additional remarks. The Resolved incident is automatically reactivated and displays an Active status.
Figure 5. Resolve Email
resolve email

Auto-Close 24 Hrs

If the incident state is Resolved, and the caller has not emailed any feedback within 24-hours, the incident is auto-closed (with no entry in the Closed by field) by a scheduled job. The duration of the auto-close function can be modified. See Change the Duration of the Incident Auto-Close Function.

Caller Closes Incident

When a caller closes their incident:
  • an info message with a link to the incident displays
  • close notes and the close code are automatically set by a business rule