Quality of Incident Records

Ask anyone involved in problem root-cause analysis if they are happy with the quality of the records. It is very likely you will get some complaints. Or you will not get any complaints, but your KPIs might not be quite where you would like them to be. Problem Management provides much better results if the data being analyzed are of high quality. Therefore, it might be worth looking into the quality of the records. Start at the source.

Main Incident Attributes

A number of factors come into play during incident registration.The most important one is time constraint. It is very likely that the Service Desk staff deal with a lot of incidents a day. They do not have too much time to decide on incident classification and picking all required attributes. That is why it is important to give them a solid training on how to do it quickly and efficiently.

Picking the correct service and impact is vital for SLA reporting and proper resource allocation to incident resolution. I would recommend focusing on this aspect first. Teach the Service Desk how to extract this information from the users. For example, prepare a very concise SLA summary in the form of handouts. It should help the team identify impact within seconds.

Incident Start and End Time

Time is also important. The time when the incident really occurred. It is always different from the time of incident registration. Sometimes by minutes, sometimes much more. While not that important for incident resolution, it is very important for Problem Management. Your ITSM tool should allow people to put it in, although it will either be optional, or default to the value of incident registration. 

The same with incident end time. Sometimes the ticket will be closed with a delay, being overlooked in the heat of the battle. After all, the incident has been resolved, nobody is complaining. That is what the team might do, if they are short on time. Setting incident end time manually allows for accurate analysis later on. Naturally, the Service Delivery Manager will not be pleased with the tickets being closed late, but that is another matter.

Good incident records can influence the effectiveness of your Problem Management process. Do what you can to improve their quality.


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