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Incidents: Definition and Process Scope

Number of views : 39
Article Number : KB0015087
Published on : 2021-04-26
Last modified : 2021-04-26 19:12:50
Knowledge Base : ServiceNow - Public Self Help


An Incident is an unplanned interruption or reduction in the quality of service, i.e. something is broken or not working as expected.

Incident Management covers the entire lifecycle of an incident from its detection until its resolution and closure.

Examples of Incidents:

  • A customer is receiving the "blue screen of death" on their UT laptop and cannot log in
  • A customer reports all email they attempt to send is stuck in their Exchange outbox
  • Wifi in a campus building is not working or only working intermittently

Incident & Request Grey Area:

There are some situations where it is not immediately clear whether the customer-reported question or issue is best tracked as an Incident or a Request. Examples:

  • A user is unable to log on to a UT service. Sometimes this is a true incident, sometimes it is more appropriate to transfer to a Request for password reset or account unlock.
  • A customer is unable to connect to wifi. Assistance connecting to wifi is a Request, but if repeated attempts to connect following correct process fail, it can become an Incident.

In these situations, there is not always a "right answer." If an issue originally assumed to be an Incident turns out to be a Request after troubleshooting, you may submit a Request to the appropriate assignment group on behalf of the customer and close out the Incident when it is complete. If you are able to resolve the Request without escalation, simply close the Incident.

If an issue originally assumed to be a Request turns out to be an Incident, set the status on the Request Task to Closed Skipped and open an incident to log the issue.

Incident Management does not include:

  • Request Fulfillment
  • Root cause identification
  • Trend analysis
  • Proactive implementation of changes to prevent future incidents

The process above unrelated to Request are part of Problem Management and Change Management, which will be available in later phases of the UT ServiceNow implementation.

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