Incident ManagementIT Governance

Why You Should Do Less Incident Management

Revenue funneled to IT service is supposed to be transformed into value through innovation insights. But oftentimes, as Joe the IT Guy laments, it just gets sliced up (pie-style) into three big chunks – equipment cost, employee pay, and vendor contracts:

What do the customers of IT get in return for this investment? At best they get a reduction in the amount of business disruption that they suffer as a result of service failures. It’s never going to be easy to say to your customers, “We’ve done a fantastic job managing incidents, what contribution did this make to your business growth?” because customers expect you to resolve incidents; it’s not adding value to them or their business processes.

Incident management is worthless in the face of demand for business growth. At best, it maintains a status quo that customers can accept because it prevents ‘bad things’ from happening. But as a famous architect is known for saying, “Less bad [design] does not make it good.”

Streamlining the Service Management Journey

This leaves us with the problem of being “more good” with the same budget. There may not be a single silver bullet to this problem, but these four options are a start:

  1. Problem management
  2. Knowledge management
  3. Change management
  4. Service design

Problem management isn’t always ‘convenient,’ but it can fit into your service management routine you keep it small and light. Like a piece of carry-on luggage at an airport, you can pick your “top five” problems to take on the service journey, and then choose to reduce impact through either proactive trend analysis or reactive workarounds.

Knowledge management (to continue the airport analogy) is like those moving walkways that accelerate your mission to reach the flight terminal on time. It can’t make up for poor service management, but will certainly reduce cost and impact. And change management (an activity that may reduce incidents by 80%) is an often overlooked option that can be efficiently on-loaded (like large airport baggage) through strategic trend analysis.

Lastly, redundancy and resilience are both ways to reinforce your service design, hence increasing the likelihood of incident resolution. A recent example is the anti-fragile solution. Put simply, if everything is expected to fail at some point, then recoveries can be automatic and built in to the service experience.

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Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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