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Incident Management - Service Request
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Avalanche
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:52 pm    Post subject: Incident Management - Service Request Reply with quote

Hi

I've got a question concering Incident Management. After a first classification it is recommended to differentiate between Incident and Service Request.

What exactly is a service request and where can you pull a line to an incident? Is it just if the user neds support in using the programm or other information (forgotten password etc.).

Is there a best practice for the Service Request part of the incident. All if found is Service Request (yes/no) -> service request procedure ->incident closure
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jeffendy
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I try to give you an answer about this. I will use an example from the company where I work for.

We have an intranet site where we can find list of services that we can get from IT (pre-approved or not). Some examples are: E-mail, telephone and voice services, standardized desktops and notebooks, employee authentication and security services, conferencing and collaboration services, etc. You are able to request a service or more and this will not go through the Service Desk (will not be treated as incident). If the request needs an approval from your direct manager, it will automatically escalated to your manager. We call this Service Request.

If something happen to the service(s) provided, then you should call the Service Desk and it will be treated as an incident.

Hope that this can answer your question.

Best regards,
James Effendy
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m_croon
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jeffendy wrote:
I try to give you an answer about this. I will use an example from the company where I work for.

We have an intranet site where we can find list of services that we can get from IT (pre-approved or not). Some examples are: E-mail, telephone and voice services, standardized desktops and notebooks, employee authentication and security services, conferencing and collaboration services, etc. You are able to request a service or more and this will not go through the Service Desk (will not be treated as incident). If the request needs an approval from your direct manager, it will automatically escalated to your manager. We call this Service Request.

If something happen to the service(s) provided, then you should call the Service Desk and it will be treated as an incident.

Hope that this can answer your question.

Best regards,
James Effendy

James,

Sorry, but I can't agree with you. The examples you give are (standard) changes. A service request as defined in ITIL has to do with "activities" regarding a service, excluding disruptions ("incidents"), problems and changes. The best example is the password reset. As the workflow of service requests is often very simular to that of incidents, they are covered by the incident management proces.

BTW: I often find examples of service requests to be very debatable.
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jeffendy
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michiel,

Thanks for the feedback. What we do is requesting a service from the list of services that are availbale in the service catalog provided. We are not consider this as a change. Change will occur if our IT department wants to add, remove, or change the content of service catalog.

Best regards,
James Effendy
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Fabien
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Requesting service for/to a service defined in your service catalog and for which you have an agreement with the IT organization is a Service Request. It is important to recognize that if it is a Service Request, there must be a service defined for it. Otherwise, it is a Request For Change (in a service) and it should be dealt with by the Service Level Manager.

ITIL defines that a Service Request goes through the Service Desk (notice the word: "service") because again, the Service Desk is the single point of contact for the users. Early on in the design of your Incident Management process, you make a determination of whether a "request" is an incident or a Service Request. In case of a Service Request, the request should then be routed to the appropriate resources/process.

Typically, as said earlier, you can differentiate a Service Request from an incident based on this question: "Is this an interruption/degradation of the service?" So, a password reset is typically a Service Request because the level of service is fine. It's the user that needs additional brain capacity.

If you have an actionable Service Catalog online, first of all, you are ahead of the pack already. But requesting a new service is not a Service Request. It is a request for the Service Level Mgt.
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Avalanche
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wouldn't it make sense to differentiate between Service Request, and an actual Incident/Error earlier in the process? According to my ITIL Guide, at first the Details are recorded, then the Incident is classified an initial support ist given, and then it either gets dealt with as incident or service request.

Shouldn't the Service Desk be able to deal with all service requests?
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Fabien
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, ...

1) you want to make sure that everything gets recorded, so that part is fine. Whether it is recorded at the SD or elsewhere, it makes sense to consolidate to responsibility for recording in only one place.

2) classification needs to be done in order to even determine whether it is a service request or not, so I don't see an issue here either.

3) Initial support is I guess where you think it may be backwards.

And here it is important to understand what is included in "initial support". Initial support is basically a set of instructions to determine if this is a trivial issue that can be dealt with in a few minutes. Here you could argue that something as simple as a password reset, though time-sensitive as a password reset, could be dealt with right away. Thus, you wouldn't need to make a specific determination whether this is a support issue, or a service issue.

Though ITIL includes a determination step in the process, it also says: "[...] practice shows that handling of both failures in the infrastructure and of service requests are similar, and both are therefore included in the definition and scope of the process of Incident Management. The word 'Incident' in this chapter applies to both, if not explicitely stated otherwise, [...]".

So it is interesting to notice that there is a difference. I would personally always try to give incidents a higher priority than service requests because I believe that before providing services, you should be able to keep the lights on... But there could be cases where this wouldn't apply either.
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Gav
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had this debate many many times, and in my implementations of Incident Management I have simply defined a Service Request for my environments as being non-technical requests for service, whereas Incidents are of a technical nature.

So...

SR (non technical) = password reset, new logon, change the lightbulb in my office

Incident (technical) = slow internet, smoke coming out of my computer, application error message, blue screen of death


Furthermore, ITIL states that a Service Request is but a category of an Incident. Every 'request for service' that enters the Service Desk is by rights an Incident first, which may be then categorised as a Service Request, Change Request or remain an Incident once determined.
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Fabien
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gav wrote:
Furthermore, ITIL states that a Service Request is but a category of an Incident.

Man it's hard to wake up and realize I've been sleeping during class Laughing just kidding.

ITIL describes an example of incident classification in Annex 5a that shows a tree starting with "Incident Type" in level 1, which contains "failure" and "Service Request" as options. I think it's a little dangerous to go as far as stating that ITIL says it's just a category of incidents. As I mentioned before, ITIL also recognizes that there is something different in nature, but chooses to combine their processing. If anything, this diagram actually shows that a Service Request is "something else than a failure".

While the concept of service requests is poorly developed in ITIL2, it will be expanded upon in v3. What we're talking about at the Service Desk is really Request Management. It is about handling everything that the user throws at you because you are the SPOC.... logical?
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fighter
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avalanche,

Here is my two cents!

Treat all the calls to the SD as an Incident.

Make your judgement during the classification and determine if its an incident or a service Request.

Will give a basic example of a service request.

A user calls up the service desk and says I want to be able to use another printer in my floor. This is an request.

whereas, if the user says my printer not working then the SD Agent tries to solve the incident if not helps the user by giving access to another printer in the floor. In this case the incident is escalated to the appropriate tech support team.

Please note in the both cases the end result is enabling the user to use another printer. Its the matter of judgement which SD has to perform if the user request is an incident or Request.

In another words, anything that distrupts the Service (SLA) is an incident.

Any other optional request shall be treated as Service Request associated with the agreed Service to the customer.

You can broadly categorize your incident call as

Incident
Request for Service
Request for Change
Request for Information
How to do ...?

Hope this helps!

Vimzie!
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Guerino1
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello All,

I know this thread is a little older but I'll try to clarify based on both ITIL and non-ITIL information.

In short, ITIL has instilled some disciplines that all have a consistent pattern. For example (and I know I'm paraphrasing the definitions):

Incident Management : The process by which we coordinate and manage all Incidents.

Problem Management : The process by which we coordinate and manage all Problems.

Change Management : The process by which we coordinate and manage all Changes.

Etc...

However, ITIL breaks down and becomes rather inconsistent, in certain areas. For example, in ITIL:

Service Management is "not" the process by which we coordinate and manage all Services.

Release Management is "not" the process by which we coordinate and manage all Product Releases.

When you look at the definition of "Service Request", there are really two answers... the traditional answer and the ITIL answer.

In the traditional answer, a Service is something that can result in work that will yield a result. For example: I invoke a service that will result in something as an output. Example: "Procure a Server", "Reset a Password", "Provision a Blackberry".

When speaking ITIL, a Service is more of a dialtone concept. For example: "Email", "Messaging", "Telephone". In these cases, managing Services typically implies managing a 24 by 7 like service.

They're both correct but each is incomplete without the other.

Now, to address the Service Request concept... A Service Request is not an Incident. An Incident is specifically a disruption in a Service (of the ITIL definition). A Service Reqeust is really more of an invocation of the traditional type of "Service". Therefore, in the traditional definition, a user goes to a Service Catalog, looks up the Service they want to invoke, invokes that service, and the invocation results in a Service Request. The invocation (or the Service Request) is nothing more than a Task that must be performed. Therefore, in the traditional sense of IT, a Service Request is nothing more than a Task to perform work and/or deliver something as defined by a measurable and repeatable Service definition.

It is important to understand that neither definition is incorrect. They are simply incomplete without the other.

Anyhow, I hope this helps.

Regards,
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Guerino1
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Furthermore, ITIL states that a Service Request is but a category of an Incident. Every 'request for service' that enters the Service Desk is by rights an Incident first, which may be then categorised as a Service Request, Change Request or remain an Incident once determined.


If this is true, then it is a clear example of where ITIL has made an error.

Here's one of many possible examples of why: A Service Request has no concept of "escalation levels". A Service, according to traditional definition, is the definition of repeatable and measurable work that is performed by a common resource or organization, typically referred to as a Service Group. A Service Group is not part of the call center or help desk. Therefore, internally, you can invoke a Service Request by going directly to the Service Catalog or the Service Group. Nothing and no-one was "disrupted", which is along the lines of an Incident definition.

The flaw is that just like trying to funnel all calls through the call center is a mistake, also trying to funnell all contact categories through one category, an Incident in this case, is another mistake. There are many "contact" categories that come in through many different communications and collaboration vehicles and roles. Trying to create a one-size-fits-all solution is a very ugly road.

Please keep in mind that ITIL was created by humans and humans make mistakes. Ultimately, your common sense should supercede what ITIL recommends because there are direct and obvious areas that, when you read ITIL, you have to ask yourself: "What were they thinking!?"

I hope this helps.

Regards,
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Marcel
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guerino1 wrote:
Quote:

Furthermore, ITIL states that a Service Request is but a category of an Incident. Every 'request for service' that enters the Service Desk is by rights an Incident first, which may be then categorised as a Service Request, Change Request or remain an Incident once determined.


If this is true, then it is a clear example of where ITIL has made an error.


The original statement that ‘ITIL states that a Service Request is but a category of an Incident’ is not completely accurate, although I can understand that people may draw that conclusion. On page 71 of the Service Support book, it says:

Quote:

…. However, practice shows that handling of both failures in the infrastructure and of service requests are similar, and both are therefore included in the definition and scope of the process of Incident Management. The word ‘Incident’ in this chapter applies to both, if not explicitly stated otherwise, although organizations may decide to develop their own service request procedures to isolate them from the more technical issues.


The high-level process flow on page 73 (as well as the alternative on page 94) of the same book, shows a partially different path for service requests as compared to ‘true’ incidents (which actually bypasses the concept of escalation levels, in accordance with Frank’s comment). Instead of going through the ‘Investigation & Diagnosis’ and ‘Resolution & Recovery’ steps, the service request goes through the ‘Service Request procedure’. Of course you could argue here that this is not consistent with ITIL’s statement that handling of failures in the infrastructure and of service requests is similar. If that were 100% true, then there would be no need for a modification in the Incident Management process to accommodate service requests.

Now of course we can split hairs from an academic perspective about the precision of definitions, exceptions to rules, etcetera, but I think it is more productive to look at it from a practical perspective: the idea that is captured in the ITIL books with regards to incident management and dealing with service requests. Here is my take on this: ITIL promotes the use of the Service Desk as the single point of contact to report incidents and to submit service requests. Whether you define a ‘password reset as an incident or as a service request does not really matter that much. At the same time, ITIL positions the Service Desk as the ‘trigger point’ for and the driving force behind the incident management process. The process kicks into gear whenever an incident or service request is received by the Service Desk and the Service Desk ensures that the process comes to successful completion for all incidents and service requests that entered the process. No incident (or service request) left behind!

Till what extent a service request can be handled within the ‘standard’ incident management process flow, largely depends on the impact and complexity of the service request. If a ‘password reset’ is indeed considered a service request, then this can easily and completely be handled within incident management. However, if the service request entails the procurement of a new application, not yet used within the organization, then that is an entirely different story. At a minimum, you would need to ‘plug in’ a specific service request procedure to handle for example the approvals needed to fulfill this request. All that the incident management process would do here is monitoring that the request is being dealt with from an administrative perspective.

An important question, of course, is whether all service requests can and should be handled by incident management. Personally, based on what I have seen with various organizations, I would say no. I think that service requests that have limited financial impact, are based on defined services to the business, and can easily be fulfilled by following a predefined procedure, can flow through the Service Desk and the incident management process just fine. Again, the actual fulfillment of these requests would be done through procedures that are ‘plugged’ into the incident management process flow. Examples of service requests that could qualify for this approach are the provisioning of a PC (loaded with standard apps) and granting necessary access rights for new hires. For many other requests, such as a request to purchase a new software package, develop a completely new application, or enhance an existing application, the value of routing these through incident management is probably limited, if not negative. Many organizations already have other channels in place to deal with such requests that work just fine.

Marcel
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tolman101
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This all makes interesting reading. We are discussing this IM topic within our organisation too, as we attempt to make our IMP more watertight. I think that the fact we end up debating this subject so often means that ITIL just does not provide the answers we are looking for. There certainly seems to be a disconnect between reality and the wonderful world of ITIL. Good news then that v3 will expand more on this area.

ITIL certainly leaves this subject up to the individual organisation to make it work as best they can, and I suppose we need to exercise as much common sense as possible and understand also that ITIL can be inconsistent sometimes and not the myrical cure we are all looking for.

My own take is that ITIL suggests that an Incident is registered and classified. During the classification it can be determined that the type is a Service Request. Depending on what type of Service Request, it can either be handled within the IMP (password reset) or another process e.g. Change Management (request for standard PC). What I believe ITIL is suggesting is that some kind of record (IR? or SR) is kept open to monitor the progress of the Service Request Procedure (change order in the case of the standard PC). Once the Change Order is completed, the SR or IR can then be completed and completion fedback to the user/Customer.

It could be that this is required for a Customer Focused approach and the Service Desk maintains some kind of control even with Change Orders by ensuring the end user has the final say in its closure.


...or I could be completely off the planet Confused

Matt
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peppermint
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

I tried to tackle this matter by looking at the definition of an incident: it's not necessarily something that is not working and needs fixing, it says 'may cause', and it's not only interruption to a service, but might be reduced quality as well. So bringing the two together: an event that may cause reduction in the quality of a service, I think that probably that's not too far from a definition of a service request. But this is just theory, it's open for debate!
With an example: a password reset might have a technical reason, not only user error, in that case it is an incident, since the user cannot use a service. If it's user error I'd say it qualifies to be a service request.
A network share folder access or a report to be run are typically service requests, I should say.
What do you think?

pep
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