Oh, incident management! An often overly complicated process that doesn’t have to be. It’s usually one of those must-do tasks for service professionals but is often the last chore dealt with after all other tasks have been taken care of. However, understanding proper incident escalation is, indeed, highly important and can lead to less confusion in the process.
For starters, let’s take a look at the guidelines for how to manage incident if you don't mind. Have the time? If you need to fix your processes straight away then you might have to make the time.
Can I Fix It Straight Away?
The first step usually begins with a simple question: “Can I fix this?” If the answer is “no” then the incident should be escalated to someone else, someone who can fix it. However, there are usually a number of solutions available to ensure that the answer to this question is “yes,” so don’t fret.
Implementing and maintaining a solid knowledge base, for example, is a great way to increase your solve rates of incidents. With the information available through such an offering, you will likely increase your chances of being able to access the information you need to better tackle the challenge you are facing. Using answers already generated and sourced from your team’s previous experiences makes solving problems so much easier, possibly even without escalation. By shifting your knowledge left (shift left), you are able to bring all organizations knowledge within reach for you and your colleague's use.
Understand The Escalation
There are two forms of escalation. Hierarchical escalation moves the incident to someone with decision-making power; appropriate for a large task or when some aspect of the incident needs approval. Functional escalation targets someone who has the required expertise or re-assigning the incident to another team that is more suitable to deal with the task – either through emails or a service management software. Some solutions can escalate parts of the incident to another operator group if necessary.
Assess The Impact And Urgency Clearly
Always keep in mind the impact and urgency of the incident. If it’s quite urgent and the knowledge base doesn’t offer the right kind of guidance (for whatever reason), it may be better to let someone who is more familiar with the task handle it. Also, be mindful to avoid generic terms that can be misinterpreted, leading to the wrong prioritization in your service desk. In other words, be specific. For example, who is affected by the incident? The whole company, a site or department, or just one user? Are the impacted employees able to work, or are they completely unable to work? Measure the urgency appropriately. Specific terms (not generic ones) make it much easier to understand the action required and when.
If no escalation is needed, provide as much supporting documentation and detail as possible to ensure that the handover of the incident goes as smoothly as possible.
Incident Management Done Right
Standard incident management processes don't have to be boring and such processes actually can be done in a fairly easy manner. Plus, there are plenty of resources available in case you need help, like incident management matrixes and guides to help you navigate you through the process. 'Take the time it takes and it will take less time' should be your motto for managing incident management.