Work on incidents

Working on incidents involves diagnosing and investigating the incident, recording results, and sometimes escalating or promoting the incident.

Initial diagnosis of incidents is largely a human process. The service desk agent looks at the details of the incident and communicates with the user to diagnose the issue.

To aid in the diagnosis, the service desk agent can consult the configuration management database, or CMDB. The CMDB contains information about hardware and software within a network and the relationships between them. The CMDB can be populated in two ways: Discovery and Help the Help Desk. Discovery is available as a separate product, but Help the Help Desk is provided with the base system.

Incident investigation

Incident investigation is also a human process. The service desk continues to use the information in the Incident form and the CMDB to solve the issue. Work notes are added to the incident as it is evaluated, facilitating communication between the concerned parties. Work notes and other updates can be communicated to the concerned parties through email notifications.

One way to investigate incidents is to determine whether related records exist, using one of the following features.

Related incidents icon
The show related incidents icon (Show related incidents icon) appears beside the Caller field when it is populated. Click it to open a popup window and review a list of incidents for same caller.
Note: Administrators can add this icon to any reference field by modifying the dictionary entry and adding the ref_contributions=user_show_incidents dictionary attribute. The icon appears only for users who have read or write access to the field. A UI macro named user_show_incidents defines the behavior. The UI macro must be active to view the related incidents icon.
Incidents by Same Caller related list
Another way to research related incidents is to use the Incidents by Same Caller related list. The administrator may need to configure the form to display this related list.
Dependency views
Dependency views can help find related incidents based on configuration items (CI). If a configuration item is attached to an incident, click the map icon (Dependency view icon) to display the dependency views map. To view tasks attached to the CI, click the down arrow next to the CI and select View Related Tasks.
Figure 1. CI options
CI options menu

Incident promotion

When the incident management team has determined that the cause of an incident is an error or widespread problem, the team initiates the problem management process. When the issue requires a change to the infrastructure or a business service, the team initiates the change management process.

A menu item on the Incident form lets you create a problem or change record and associate the incident with the problem or change record. In this way, incidents can be used to easily create problems or changes.
Note: If the incident already has an associated problem or change record, you cannot promote an incident to a record of that type.

Incident escalation

There are two escalation methods the platform uses to track and report on incidents that are not being resolved according to your organization standards.

Service level agreements (SLAs)
SLAs monitor the progress of an incident according to defined rules. As time passes, the SLA escalates the Priority of the incident, and leaves a marker as to its progress. SLAs are also used as a performance indicator for the service desk.
Inactivity monitor
The inactivity monitor generates an event to prevent incidents from going unnoticed. When a certain amount of time has passed without an update to the incident, the event creates an email notification or triggers a script.