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ITIL :: View topic - Is this an Incident?
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Is this an Incident?

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Joined: Oct 03, 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:14 am    Post subject: Is this an Incident? Reply with quote

We are trying to figure out whether the following would be categorised as an Incident as per ITIL standards

A service was incorrectly coded at Application Development and Not noticed by anyone including QA.
The service went live and the problem was noticed only when a client reported the issue: ( This is a rarely used service)
Is this an incident, as the service was never available to be used correctly and as such was never a part of normal IT services.

Would love to hear your thoughts

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Senior Itiler

Joined: Jan 03, 2007
Posts: 189
Location: Redmond, WA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say yes. The client expected functionality. The functionality was not present. The delivery of the service did not meet reasonable expectations.

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Joined: Oct 08, 2007
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is certainly an incident - "Something went 'FOOM!' in the user's face"[1]

However, this has the potential to do the same again and again. If you have a proper fix for it, then issue a Request For Change, if not then it needs to be logged as a Problem.

[1] Not a specific ITIL description, but it should be!
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Senior Itiler

Joined: Sep 27, 2005
Posts: 207

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I'm loving this case. You're right, it seems like a tricky question because the definition of an incident describes an interruption or degradation of a service. Since the service was introduced that way, that's its normal way of operating.

The normal operating level of a service needs to be measured from service level objectives that must or should be established based on the customer requirements. It is the level of promised availability that establishes the baseline from which departure represents an incident or not.

As far as IT is concerned, and for as far as IT has been measuring, the service was perfectly available until it was first used. It is on first use that an incident occured because the service was not as available as promised due to an error.

You have both an incident and an error, or at least a problem (if you don't know where the incident comes from).

Now, based on that experience, you may want to add a UAT step before or after QA in your SLC.
Fabien Papleux

Technology Consulting | Service Excellence
Red Badge Certified

Twitter @itilgeek
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Senior Itiler

Joined: Jan 01, 2006
Posts: 500
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello dave254,

To most of our clients (and I would have to side with them), here's the breakdown...

  • The "Incident" is the disruption that was reported, like the report having bad data in it and/or failing.
  • The fact that someone deemed it to be "repeatable" instantly makes it a "Problem" that needs to be tracked and addressed, as part of the Problem/Defect Management process.
  • The fact that you determined it to be a coding error is the "Root Cause".

NOTE: It doesn't matter what environment it was reported in or who caught it. The breakdown should be the same, regardless of whether or not it was determined in any environment, such as Development, Testing, Production, etc. or by any stakeholder, such as a Developer, Tester, End User, etc.

I hope you find this useful.

My Best,

Frank Guerino, CEO
On-Demand ITIL Platform
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Joined: Oct 03, 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks a lot for you replies. I too felt it was an Incident.
Thats the way we went and created a problem to fix it.

the funny thing was that in addition to our developers it was the client QA who missed it.

thanks again
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