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ITIL :: View topic - IM - 'Suspend Incident' criteria + process
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IM - 'Suspend Incident' criteria + process

 
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fnord
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:35 am    Post subject: IM - 'Suspend Incident' criteria + process Reply with quote

Hi there.

I am currently working with a government client... putting together a comprehensive Incident Management process for the organisation.

I would like to get some opinions on one of the ideas put forward by internal staff. The idea of having the option of 'suspending' an incident within the Investigation and Diagnosis phase of the Incident Management process.

Efectively I imagine the process flow would look like:

* Determine resolution
- Resolution available - Yes (Document Resolution --> Incident Resolution procedure)
- Resolution available - No
* Update Incident Details
* Determine if Incident meets criteria for Suspension
- Suspend Incident - Yes (IM Suspend Incident Procedure)
- Suspend Incident - No (Back to 'Diagnose incident')

Now, does anyone have any suggestions / examples of Incident 'Suspension Criteria' and Incident 'Suspend Incident Procedure'?

I havent entertained this idea before, and am interested in obtaining feedback.

Regards.

Matt

.
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swansong
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Joined: Nov 14, 2007
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never used this suspend incident status, and its not one I am in favour of.

I would throw this back at the internal staff. What is their justification for suspending incidents?

If you can get their views and post them here, it may add to the debate.
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Diarmid
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You cannot suspend an incident. Its longevity is from occurrence to resolution, no matter what. Unless you suspend time.

The idea of suspending an incident is a sign of immaturity in the management system.

The most obvious things that can cause a "delay" in incident resolution are waiting for a resource (person, travel time, external technical response, hardware, software, etc.), waiting for access to or action from or involving a user or customer, and that's just another type of resource, and waiting for a window of opportunity when no higher priority circumstances hold sway.

The reason people want to "stop the clock" in these circumstances is that they believe (perhaps correctly if the system is immature) that their time is being measured when the situation is in the hands of others.

So, for example, a technician should not be timed while awaiting the delivery of a new part (but should be timed up to the point where he orders the part). But Incident Management is still responsible for that time and is answerable to the SLA for the time to resolution.

There are two complementary approaches that address this issue. Firstly you can legitimately and sensibly measure different parts of the process in order to understand what is happening and to measure people against what they do; so clocks will start and stop at various points, but the incident clock just keeps on ticking.

Secondly you ought to have intelligently designed SLAs, good customer relationships and the ability to agree with the customers on the implications of any incident resolution that has taken "too long", including review of processes, contracts etc. to provide better service in the future.

Now that I write all this, I seem to remember it all being said before in another thread, and if it was I who said it, then I probably said it better the first time.
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swansong
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having just re-read your post I noticed the following which i think is the crux of the issue:-

Quote:
I am currently working with a government client...


I think Diarmid's response hits the nail on the head.

If this is something you still need to do, I suggest you contact Alistair Campbell, not an ITIL guru.
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BorisBear
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swansong wrote:
Having just re-read your post I noticed the following which i think is the crux of the issue:-

Quote:
I am currently working with a government client...


I think Diarmid's response hits the nail on the head.

If this is something you still need to do, I suggest you contact Alistair Campbell, not an ITIL guru.



Check your facts and cut out the childish remarks. ITIL came from government, has been development by government and is perhaps executed at its best in government - if you are an ITIL guru (which you're obviously not) then you would know this.


To the original poster, I think I know what you're driving at and many of the modern ITIL toolsets have 'stop clock' facilities to cater for any number of scenarios usually around the IT organisation being unable to manage the incident further without external factors (e.g. awating more information or feedback from users). For the record, I'm in favour of it and I think its a true reflection of performance against incident management.
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swansong
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re:- "Check your facts and cut out the childish remarks. ITIL came from government, has been development by government and is perhaps executed at its best in government - if you are an ITIL guru (which you're obviously not) then you would know this. "

On the contrary. I don't recall ever claiming to be an ITIL guru (or heaven forbid an "ITIL Demi God"). I claim to have a healthy interest in ITIL, as it is integral to elements of my profession. I have little interest in the history of ITIL. I now think it is sufficiently mature to have weaned itself from government and is now alive, well and thriving in the real world.

For the record, and I actually work in government. In the absence of a free market for government services, and therefore the lack of profitability which measures the success of an organisation, targets are imposed on government, and as a consequence services are designed to meet a target, not necessarily to deliver a service that customer actually wants. Hence I feel entirely justified in suggesting that the governments deal with spin - To give the impression that they give a good service, by meeting a target regardless of whether this target bears any relation to what the customer wants.

In terms of the childish remarks, I will put my hand up and say that i am guilty of childish / sarcastic remarks on this forum and others.
Can you say without a shadow of a doubt that you don't ever post similar rubbish?
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BorisBear
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swansong wrote:
Re:- "Check your facts and cut out the childish remarks. ITIL came from government, has been development by government and is perhaps executed at its best in government - if you are an ITIL guru (which you're obviously not) then you would know this. "

On the contrary. I don't recall ever claiming to be an ITIL guru (or heaven forbid an "ITIL Demi God"). I claim to have a healthy interest in ITIL, as it is integral to elements of my profession. I have little interest in the history of ITIL. I now think it is sufficiently mature to have weaned itself from government and is now alive, well and thriving in the real world.

For the record, and I actually work in government. In the absence of a free market for government services, and therefore the lack of profitability which measures the success of an organisation, targets are imposed on government, and as a consequence services are designed to meet a target, not necessarily to deliver a service that customer actually wants. Hence I feel entirely justified in suggesting that the governments deal with spin - To give the impression that they give a good service, by meeting a target regardless of whether this target bears any relation to what the customer wants.

In terms of the childish remarks, I will put my hand up and say that i am guilty of childish / sarcastic remarks on this forum and others.
Can you say without a shadow of a doubt that you don't ever post similar rubbish?


No, I cant Laughing

And as we have both been government employees at some point I'll take your point as qualified but having latterly been in the private sector I'm in a position to say that some of the true IT Service Management excellence I have witnessed has been in government.
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swansong
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Squabbling aside, if you turn off the clock, because for example you cannot get hold of the customer, how do you recognise that the incident management process has a fundamental flaw (I.e. There is a single point of failure which means that the incident cannot be resolved as quickly as IT resources would allow and / or the business demands), and build process improvements which will prevent this from happening again.

In the example that someone is not available, maybe the Incident Management process should include some sort of dialogue with the customer along the lines of "...At some stage in the future i am going to have to call you to discuss XYZ. If you are not available, who has the authority to make this decision on your behalf..." and at least attempt to improve the end to end process.

Yes you are trying to measure the performance of IT, however the overriding thing is to ensure that the business service is returned at an overall cost with is appropriate to the business. IT performance can (and should) be measured in multiple ways, and should not be measured solely on the basis of a missed SLA

Personally, I embrace SLA failures as an opportunity to drive out service improvements based on empirical data. I don't necessarily see them as a bad thing.

However my question in my original post on this topic still stands - Why do the business feel that they need this facility? Whats their justification for this?
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UKVIKING
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Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SS and BB

I do keep a list you know .....
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Diarmid
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BorisBear wrote:
... usually around the IT organisation being unable to manage the incident further without external factors (e.g. awating more information or feedback from users). For the record, I'm in favour of it and I think its a true reflection of performance against incident management.


I don't entirely disagree, but this oversimplifies the issue. External factors are just as relevant and discounting them is an IT-centric perspective.

A much better approach is to attribute the time to these delay factors. So if you are stopping one clock you are starting another. And the incident clock keeps on running.

At the end of the day (week/month/year) the duration for which the incident impacted service needs to be known. It may be that some of the time is discounted in terms of contractual breach (even if your SLA is not a contract) and therefore there are no penalties or acrimonies to impose.

But whether the cause of delay was a recalcitrant supplier, a user (or business manger) on leave/sick/at a meeting/not having the time for this, or a misunderstanding or miscommunication (even if at the customer/user end) then there is scope to seek out ways of avoiding or at least reducing this type of delay in future.

You will take a long time to get to the point of considering this if you have persistently massaged the figures in the interests of "fairness".

How long the incident was outstanding, irrespective of the reasons, is of primary concern to the business (because that is how long the costs and risks lasted) and is the true reflection of performance of the IT service.
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jpgilles
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Location: FRance

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there,

In my company (outsourcing business) we DO suspend "tickets", mainly because the SLAs attached to the different types of incidents were originally designed to measure OUR performance as a service provider.

For example: if I am to deliver a PC in 5 days (providing there is a PC in stock) ,but I can't because
1 the stock is empty
2 the customer does manage provisionning for the stock,
Then , if the resolution takes 15 days , as it is not my fault, the ticket should not show a SLA failure, and it is suspended (we have various conditions for suspending a ticket in this case it would be "waiting for provisionning").

Every time the resolution of the ticket is subject to an external action (not us), then it is suspended.

However , we all agree (customers and us) that this is not satisfactory, and we are preparing a new version of our service agreements whereas tickets would be attached to 2 SLAs:
1) the user view of the resolution: never stopped , whatever happens
2) the client view: when the case is wainting for somebody else than we (service provider) , the clock is suspended.

At the end we will compare User's SLA missed and service SLAs missed to judge the real quality of service (versus the service contract).

We need to accomodate with reality...User satisfaction is just dependant on the conditions allowed (and FINANCED) to provide the service.
If the conditions, by nature, do not allow to meet 100% quality and user satisfaction , then we need to find ways to measure the level of services provided versus the contract.
Nobody is ready to pay for 100% quality, therefore measurements should not be designed in such a way that not providing 100% is seen as a fault...

Suspending a ticket when you are waiting for something which is not under your control is just a way to do so...Alternatives are welcome when you can.
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UKVIKING
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And it has to do with the limitation or constraints of the tool does it not
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jpgilles
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, there can be technical limitations of course, but that's not the matter here.
My point is rather that, as a Service Provider, do I want to measure the quality of the services I am providing to my clients , or do I want to measure the quality of service to the end-users (which means the quality of service that, overall, my clients are providing to their customers)?
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