There is a difference between an incident, a major incident, and a problem, but what exactly is this difference? Professionals too often struggle to classify obstacles when they arise. In a post at his website, Joe the IT Guy discusses the ways IT service management becomes overcomplicated and tries to clear the air.
An incident, a major incident, a problem, and a service request are all important aspects of IT, but how can someone differentiate between them? Professionals frequently discuss over LinkedIn which is which, only to discover that everyone is confused how to distinguish them. With everyone’s opinions being thrown at you, it makes it all the more taxing to decipher the truth and decide how to best handle the situation.
In a scenario such as this, a standardized industry definition might be useful, because it would provide a clear-cut analysis to decide how to classify. However, perhaps standardized industry definitions are not necessary. Even within the same industry, organizations will operate slightly differently and will need to define their problems on their own as a result. There mostly need to be consistent, agreed upon definitions internally so that everyone is on the same page how to classify any adversity that may arise.
In his post, Joe keeps his definitions simple so that anyone at any skill level will understand. An incident is simply when something bad happens, but the business can ultimately deal with it for a few days. A problem is a reoccurring incident, and a temporary fix will solve nothing. A major incident is an IT issue that is unacceptable to the business. A service request is something someone has requested be done that they do not already have.
Consistent definitions that are adhered to within the organization are all that really matters. They simply need to exist and be discussed with the appropriate people. Every department may have a slightly different idea, but a consensus can be made.
You can read the original post here: http://www.joetheitguy.com/2015/12/02/overcomplicate-it-service-management/