Incident Management in ServiceNow – It’s not Just About Service, It’s About Risk

25 Oct, 2022

Understand the game if you want to win

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A Day in the Life of the Incident Manager

Competent staff is difficult to find and difficult to keep. Incident volumes vary not just by time of day and day of week, but also by the type of issue. Even within these criteria, there is a natural variation and black swan risk. Getting the right people staffed at the right time is crucial to mitigating the full panoply of risk to the organization: degraded operations, loss of revenue, unavailability of services, and the resulting loss of reputation.

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The Metrics that Matter

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Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR), First Call Resolution (FCR), and SLA Met percentage are the standards for the output of the process. While averages are important, so are variations by time and standard deviations. If you’re staffing for the average, peaks will overwhelm. It is the manager’s decision to staff for 95% certainty, 99% certainty or 99.999%, but that decision should be informed.

If the output metrics are not meeting your targets, it’s also worth measuring how well the work is being done to identify the areas of improvement. Consider Incidents Incorrectly Assigned, Incidents Incorrectly Categorized, and Incidents Incorrectly Prioritized. These will highlight where improvements in process and automation can be made.

Further decomposed, the automated process will fail if the quality of the data input is substandard. Measuring data quality can highlight needs in training or integration with originating sources. If you can’t see it, you can fix it.

Data from One Area Informs Another

Link to ServiceNow’s CMDB to gain a 360 degree view of incidents and understand the customers, employees, applications, and infrastructure that are impacted. Surface the linkages with the changes that cause those incidents, and the problems that have helped to resolve them. Don’t wait for perfect data – even the lack of linkages creates the urgency to establish functional best practices across teams. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Predictive Analytics FTW

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Use predictive analytics to alert operational teams to incidents in queue likely to escalate into a Major Incident. Combine the data from external monitoring systems with the ServiceNow’s ITSM modules to identify the infrastructure will cause you problems – days before it does. Diet and exercise are preferable to a quadruple bypass (for most). Don’t worry, we don’t have to let an expensive data scientist wander around your organization to learn about your data models on your dime. We have been in a long romance with the data models of the most commonly held applications and come in with established models.

Northcraft Analytics Can Help

Northcraft Analytics has been working with Global 2000 companies, national governments, and large non-profits for over 15 years. If you’re the champion for management by metrics within your organization and have had difficulty gaining traction or maintaining momentum, we can give you a decade’s worth of metrics and visualizations out of the box on the standard Microsoft tools your organization is already familiar with.

There are few strategic projects in any organization that are not fundamentally IT projects, and none that do not involve IT along the way. IT is in the business of performing magic. Use Northcraft Analytics to help you communicate the full story in the language of business.

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