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What is incident management in ITIL?

Blog: Good eLearning

What is an incident?

In IT Service Management (ITSM), an ‘incident’ refers to an unplanned event or service interruption. ‘Incident management’ is about detecting, reporting, monitoring, and managing incidents to minimize and prevent service downtime. With so many key business functions powered by IT services, even a single incident can cause significant problems if handled incorrectly.

In ITIL, incident management covers all incidents, whether they only impact a single user or an entire business. This also applies to relatively minor incidents that may not stop services from running entirely but still limit functions and usability. 

In ITIL v3, incident management is defined as “any event which is not part of the standard operation of a service and which causes, or may cause, an interruption to, or a reduction in, the quality of that service.”

ITIL incident management is also separate from ‘Problem Management’:

How does ITIL incident management work?

ITIL 4 lists incident management as one of its Service Management Practices. Practitioners log, record, and resolve issues across an organization. This may also be handled by the service desk with a dedicated incident management team. A company may utilize incident management tools to facilitate reporting and support the service desk.

The framework does not recommend a prescriptive approach to incident management. Instead, it advises practitioners to design a process for managing incidents based on the requirements of their company. This requires a firm understanding of the ITIL 4 framework, as well as a company’s structure, goals, and ITSM practices.

One could describe the incident management workflow as broadly covering the basics. These include:

Because incident management is treated as a holistic issue, incidents can be reported by a variety of sources. These can include:

In a setup like this, there are several key roles and functions:

Notably, ITIL does not offer detailed procedures for diagnosing, investigating, and resolving incidents. The desk may also utilize provided scripts containing relevant information for diagnosing and resolving incidents. 

If an incident is particularly complex or disastrous, it will be escalated and dealt with by support teams with more specialist knowledge and expertise. Examples could include incidents that have a large impact on security or customer data.

What are the benefits of ITIL incident management?

There are several benefits to having dedicated ITIL incident management practices at an organization:

Studying ITIL incident management

Good e-Learning is an award-winning online training provider, as well as an accredited Market Leader for ITIL training. Our in-house e-learning experts create diverse, highly engaging courses with unique insight from experienced subject matter experts. 

Our courses also offer a range of training materials, including instructor-led videos, gamified quizzes, and free whitepapers. Our world-class support team is on hand to help with both technical queries and syllabus content and can even offer a free exam voucher for every candidate!

Good e-Learning also specializes in corporate training. We work with global blue chips to plan, implement, and manage training programs with our award-winning LMS, the Learning Ecosystem. We also offer dynamic reporting to support managers and allow our teams to take a proactive approach to help individual candidates.

Want to find out more? Visit the Good e-Learning website today for a free trial!

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