A major part of the ITIL methodology is to continuously improve as an organization while increasing the business activities through IT alignment with these goals. In order for the organization to grow and improve, records of past incidents must be kept and analyzed on a periodical basis by maintaining an incident catalog template.
By maintaining a Catalog template and analyzing the incident will allow the IT department (and more specifically their services desk) to recognize similar incidents which are evidence of a major problem, and come up with lessons learned in order to refrain from reinventing the wheel every time.
The basic incident catalog template is a living document, which should have a minimum number of employees in order to maintain uniformity in language and form.
How to use the incident catalogue template
The following information should be documented for each of the incidents -
- The name of the incident, which succinctly describes the problem. This field also contains the name of the user who raised the incident (if it is only one user)
- The priority of dealing with the incident. This is usually one of the following four possibilities: Urgent, High, Medium, Low
- The name of the team who this incident falls under their purview
- Who is the owner of the incident, and needs to solve it to the satisfaction of the user who raised the incident to the service desk
- The category of the incident. This will help in resolving future incidents of the same nature and rooting out major problems which have similar incidents
- Whether an escalation is required. A simple Yes / No field should be set to “Yes” if the service desk needs to purchase a service or product In order to resolve the issue (above a certain amount)
- The incident’s number: A unique number for follow-ups and documentation. If the service desk work with an incident tracking system, clicking on the number will open up a detailed record of the incident
- The diagnosis of the incident, made by its owner. This includes the proposed solution and the cost of implementing it. This is the heart of the incident’s log and can be used in the future to solve a similar incident
- The escalation decision: only if the escalation was answered “Yes”
- The status of the incident. This is usually one of the following three possibilities: Completed, In Process, or Cancelled.
How This Fits Into the ITIL Methodology
Learning from past mistakes and trying to recognize root problems are a big part of the ITIL methodology, and maintain logs of past incidents allows the IT service desk to help the business side of the organization to focus on their main goal: improving the operations and the profitability of the company. A good log is often consulted before the incident is resolved.