Incident ManagementRisk Management

How to Deal with a Major IT Incident: 8 Top Tips

A major incident, defined by Prithiv RajKumar as an event requiring deviation from standard IT protocol, does not need to turn into a dramatic hand-waving festival. In an article for IT Pro Portal, RajKumar offers eight tips to make major incident resolution feel like a walk through the park. Well, okay, it won’t be quite that easy.

8 No-Drama Decisions

  1. Define the incident.
  2. Create exclusive workflows.
  3. Ready your resources.
  4. Supply stringent SLAs and hierarchical escalations.
  5. Inform stakeholders.
  6. Integrate incidents with ITIL.
  7. Improvise the knowledge base.
  8. Review and report.

The difference between a major incident and a high-priority incident is actually quite significant:

Usually, high-priority incidents are wrongly perceived as major incidents. This is probably due to the absence of clear ITIL guidelines. Therefore, to avoid any confusion, you must define a major incident clearly based on factors such as urgency, impact, and severity.

Resolution works better if you’ve got a separate workflow staged in the event of a major incident. It also helps to have a no-approval process that automates such things as escalation upon breach of an SLA, tracking through the incident lifecycle, assigning people to address the incident, and others.

Whether major incidents occur on a regular or a semi-regular basis, you should always have a team of top guns ready to assemble and deploy at a moment’s notice. Similarly, establish separate response and resolution SLAs for major incidents with clear escalation points. A back-up technician should be kept on staff with the understanding that manual escalation will be required.

Keep stakeholders updated throughout the process with frequent announcements and notifications. Additionally, remember to post these alarms in the help desk portal to avoid duplicate tickets as the process unfolds. In such severe and time-sensitive moments, never rely on email to communicate with stakeholders.

Once resolved, RCA, asset, and change management should be applied to ensure that the organization adjusts to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. Use a knowledge base article template and generate reports to analyze, evaluate, and aid decision-making regarding major incidents.

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