ITIL defines an incident as ďan event which is not part of the
standard operation of a service, which causes or may cause an
interruption to, or a reduction in, the quality of the service.Ē
Incident Managementís goal is to get the users back up and
running as quickly as possible with minimal disruption. Event
management detection or user complaints to the Service Desk are
usually the first indication of an incident.
ITIL categorizes incidents based on urgency and impact. SLAs
often have guidelines for the speed of this categorization.
Incident Management will either resolve the incident or escalate
it to the next functional level, where specialist resources,
such as application specialists or network engineers, resolve
As defined by ITIL, a problem is the cause of one or more
incidents with an unknown cause. Whereas Incident Managementís
focus is to resolve the incident as quickly as possible, Problem
Managementís focus is to understand the underlying root cause
and prevent or reduce the impact of another incident or problem.
Problem Management will maintain information about known
problems and associated workarounds (referred to as Known
Errors) in the Known Error Database. Problem Management
categorizes problems in much the same way as Incident
Management. A problem may require a change, and, therefore,
Problem Management interfaces with Change Management.
The Service Desk
The Service Desk is a single point of contact for end-users who
need help. Without this single point of contact an Agency or
business would face major losses in time spent on looking for
ways to fix issues and get help to those in need.
The Service Desk performs the first line support for the IT
Services and performs the following activities:Receive all calls
and e-mails on incidents, Incident recording, Incident
Classification, Incident Prioritization, Incident Escalation,
Search for Work Around, Update the customer and IT group on
progress, Perform daily CMDB verification, Report to Management,
Process Managers and customers (through SLM) on Service Desk
ITIL segregates the functions of the Support Desk into a number
of distinct areas: Incident Management, Request Fulfillment
Process, Problem Management, and Release Management.
Request Fulfillment enables users to request, receive, source,
and deliver standard services. It also provides information to
both users and customers about services and procedures for
Requests may include anything from password resets to help with
printer access. Whether large or small, all requests should be
logged and tracked for later reporting.
Release and Deployment Management manages and implements the
deployment of changes into the IT environment in a controlled
manner. Its primary focus is protecting the production
environment and its services by using formal procedures and
The Release Management, Change Management, and Service Asset and
Configuration Management processes work together to ensure all
processes are in sync and fully knowledgeable of scheduled