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Crumbtrail » Administration » ITIL » Processes » Incident Management » Definition

Incident Management - What is Incident Management

In ITIL terminology, an 'incident' is defined as:

An unplanned interruption to an IT service or reduction in the quality of an IT service. Failure of a configuration item that has not yet impacted service is also an incident, for example failure of one disk from a mirror set.

Incident Management is the process for dealing with all incidents; this can include failures, questions or queries reported by the users (usually via a telephone call to the Service Desk), by technical staff, or automatically detected and reported by event monitoring tools.


The primary goal of the Incident Management process is to restore normal service operation as quickly as possible and minimize the adverse impact on business operations, thus ensuring that the best possible levels of service quality and availability are maintained. 'Normal service operation' is defined here as service operation within SLA limits.

Value to business

The value of Incident Management includes:

Incident Management is highly visible to the business, and it is therefore easier to demonstrate its value than most areas in Service Operation. For this reason, Incident Management is often one of the first processes to be implemented in Service Management projects. The added benefit of doing this is that Incident Management can be used to highlight other areas that need attention - thereby providing a justification for expenditure on implementing other processes.

Other ITIL Processes

Operational Layer:

Tactical Layer: