In Incident Management, we often overlook the simple things in favour of trying to do too much, too soon. Why not make sure we’ve done the fundamentals properly?

Log everything

It’s a typical Tuesday morning and the internet’s gone down in an important meeting room. And the CEO is just about to present in it. They’re not best pleased, to say the least. You sprint there and, thankfully, you manage to fix the issue in under 10 minutes. On your way back to the service desk, you grab a coffee and breathe a sigh of relief, then hurry back to answer another incoming Call. What have you forgotten to do? Log the Incident! No matter how urgent the Call, or how important the Caller, absolutely every Call should be registered in the system.

Five more best practices to make the most of ITIL incident management

Fill in everything

On top of having registered the Call, it’s imperative that as many of the fields within the Incident record are filled in as possible. The best way to ensure this happens is to make fields mandatory, and service desk operatives should be taught and encouraged to fill them out. The biggest benefit of doing this is that when it comes to reporting on Incidents, you’ll get out exactly what you put in.

Knowing the ‘method of entry’ for every Incident will allow you to establish the proportion of Calls that came in through the Self-Service Portal (if you have one). These statistics could end up being used to show your boss how well the Self-Service Portal is working and to spread the word about it.

Keep things tidy

Another thing that can be overlooked is to make sure that your categories are assessed properly. This could just be to clear out subcategories that are either rarely used, or not used at all. You could tailor or filter the settings of your categories and subcategories to the different service desk teams.

Also, as our consultant Hannah Price mentioned during her webinar on this topic, you should never give the option to select either ‘other’ or ‘general’ as drop-down options. This is to eliminate discrepancies and, again, ensures that your Incident Management reports are as accurate as they can be.

Keep your team up to speed

Ensure that all service desk employees are following the same troubleshooting procedures right from the offset. What’s more, regular reminder sessions about the best use of your ITSM tool, and tips for resolving Calls more effectively, could be of use here.

But remember that whilst it’s great to have quick-fixes and default text set up, this shouldn’t mean that staff on the service desk can become lazy. The tone of each operator must still be universal in its nature, to represent the organisation as a whole.

The best way to resolve Calls

What’s the fastest, most reliable way to resolve a Call? This will differ organisation to organisation, but there are some general rules that we at TOPdesk feel should be applied:

• Take advantage of Standard Solutions when you can. This will autofill a lot of information if you have this set up in your system.
• Ask yourself: Is the content of your default emails up to date? This is useful as it can make solutions clearer to your end users.
• If your Incident Management process allows you to insert ‘default texts’ into the progress trail of your Calls, this could be useful for simply letting a Caller know that you’re working on their ticket.
• Gather enough information about the issue so that, if it’s escalated to second or third line staff, they have the insight they need to help them troubleshoot the Call. This also applies if another colleague takes the Call in your place.
• Did we mention that you should “fill in everything, every time”?

Looking to take a more proactive approach to your IT-department? Check out our e-book on how to be more Agile – or learn to prioritise Incidents better with our Priority Matrix.