Incident Management - Major incidents
A separate procedure, with shorter timescales and greater urgency, must be used for 'major' incidents. A definition of what constitutes a major incident must be agreed and ideally mapped on to the overall incident prioritization system - such that they will be dealt with through the major incident process.
Note: People sometimes use loose terminology and/or confuse a major incident with a problem. In reality, an incident remains an incident forever - it may grow in impact or priority to become a major incident, but an incident never 'becomes' a problem. A problem is the underlying cause of one or more incidents and remains a separate entity always!
Some lower-priority incidents may also have to be handled through this procedure - due to potential business impact - and some major incidents may not need to be handled in this way if the cause and resolutions are obvious and the normal incident process can easily cope within agreed target resolution times - provided the impact remains low!
Where necessary, the major incident procedure should include the dynamic establishment of a separate major incident team under the direct leadership of the Incident Manager, formulated to concentrate on this incident alone to ensure that adequate resources and focus are provided to finding a swift resolution. If the Service Desk Manager is also fulfilling the role of Incident Manager (say in a small organization), then a separate person may need to be designated to lead the major incident investigation team - so as to avoid conflict of time or priorities - but should ultimately report back to the Incident Manager.
If the cause of the incident needs to be investigated at the same time, then the Problem Manager would be involved as well but the Incident Manager must ensure that service restoration and underlying cause are kept separate. Throughout, the Service Desk would ensure that all activities are recorded and users are kept fully informed of progress.
Other ITIL Processes
- Configuration Management
- Service Desk Management
- Incident & Problem Management
- Change Management
- Release Management