Incident management is the process of managing and minimizing the negative impact of a sudden interruption in a technology service or a reduction in the quality of those services provided. It is usually conducted by the provider of the service (which could be an individual, business, or organization) or their technology support partner.
When a severe incident occurs, you could lose big business from it. It could be anything from a failure in the update to an application, an upgrade, a website maintenance outage that can stop people from buying online or using your services. An equipment failure that causes downtime in your network infrastructure. A service interrupts your internal IT services.
As a business owner, you can’t control everything that goes on in your company. But you can do a lot to reduce the impact of an interruption by understanding how your technology works and making sure all of your systems are communicating with each other. This will help ensure that any downtime is as short as possible and that any issues can be resolved quickly.
A major disruption to a technology service should be managed as a three-part process: first identifying the source of the problem, then implementing solutions to solve it, and finally validating that the solution actually mitigated the problem.
The incident management process reduces the impact of service incidents on a business. Work is coordinated across a wide range of internal and external partners, providing a comprehensive approach to achieving this goal.
Maximizing uptime with communication over WhatsApp: a game-changer for years ahead
The Incident Discovery process is just as important as the Incident Resolution itself. Back in the day, organizations used to manage these incidents through a service desk. Now everything requires almost real-time resolution so waiting for information to be sent to the IT department is not an option.
A study conducted this year by Atlassian about incident management processes across 500 large organizations, showed that more than 59% of the organization’s decision-makers use chat-based tools for notifying the incident responders.
The findings mention “software developers may be shifting to chat, using it most for team collaboration (54%) — and nearly as much as email for internal communication (56%). This highlights the demand for ITSM tooling with deep ChatOps integrations”
The first point of contact at some point turns to instant messaging with customers or colleagues. Therefore, an incident identification workflows over WhatsApp can help to:
- Provide greater situational awareness by giving teams the ability to identify incidents across multiple data sources, including any information available on an incident ticket or incident record.
- Respond to incidents more quickly by eliminating some of the manual processes that were previously used in managing incidents, such as manually searching through several different systems for relevant information. Furthermore, they enable teams to take prompt action and avoid unnecessary delays that can lead to higher costs and lost revenue.
As we see in the practice, WhatsApp is transforming into the “help desks” of IT incidents, but many organizations still lack the necessary workflows to make the most out of it. This article explores some considerations on how to perform outstanding incident identification processes without losing heads over 5+ tools and a service desk.
One of the musts of identifying an incident is to clarify the source of where it comes from. It could be through manual identification, user reports, or solution analyses handled over various communication channels. More than 50% of the incident discovery comes from chat reports, says the study.
The easiness of the first point of contact puts your company in an advantageous position as aims for getting to solve incidents in the shortest possible meant time to resolution.
After verifying the incident exists, the activities performed include logging incidents, providing initial diagnosis, resolving the incident at the first touchpoint, and escalating the incident.
How to do an incident alert/event history over WhatsApp
In the study mentioned above, more than 60% of C-LEVEL executives have created templates in order to automate incident creation and for internal communication. With an SDK approach, we have designed workflows to connect with popular incident management systems like Jira, for teams that want to accelerate their performance in this field.
Incident identification workflows are designed to help you better understand the nature of your incidents and enable you to act quickly to mitigate risk, remediate issues, or escalate beyond. They should be used in conjunction with incident management processes that ensure that you are proactively responding to all incidents before they become a wider problem.
In RELE.AI you can create a ticket without leaving your WhatsApp chats, starting from as simple as entering the “basic” info about the incident as the picture below:
Easily create the ticket and get the unique identifier without logging into the central system. Then you can fill the properties that your organization requires for the incident type of tickets.
You can then enter the issue responsible by name or create a workflow that assigns the property directly to a department (service departments, ITops, DevOps, Managers, and so on) depending on the complexity of the issue.
A cool thing you can do is to completely describe the issue with the documentation provided from support: from screenshots, screen-recordings to any type of registration that happened in the initial diagnosis phase.
From a menu of options, you can also select the departments associated with the issue and the channels of communication.
Stay ahead of the curve: Improving cross-functional communication is critical
The Atlassian report showed evidence of the biggest issue in the incident management process: lack of full visibility across IT infrastructure. When asked the participants how difficult is to get stakeholders involved in the process, nearly 85% answered that is from “somewhat easy” to “extremely difficult”.
If your organization is using RELE.AI incident workflow, the managers or leaders involved in ITops areas can receive an internal notification in their WhatsApp registered chat with full detail of the incident, the ongoing status, and even their pending tasks!
You can reassign your tasks, verify the information and also pull quick reporting of your incident management dashboards to have first-hand information about:
- How many tickets are incidents
- How many incidents are logged via calls, chat, or other platforms
- Number of incidents that were resolved correctly in the first attempt
- How many incidents are reassigned to another group
The past examples are only brief use cases that you can create to minimize your incident management KPIs and make life much easier for your IT departments.
You can customize any type of workflow your organization is comfortable with such as a workflow for defining urgency, impact and priority of incidents, configuration items data, activities carried out for resolution, and so on.
Why is it important to have incident identification workflows over WhatsApp?
The incident management process comes in to understand what’s broken, who’s affected, what happened, and how it should be fixed. Even the smallest change to your existing infrastructure can have a significant impact on your incident management KPIs. Furthermore, some problems which can be solved by having an incident identification workflow include:
- Decreasing the number of incidents that occurs in your company
- Improving customer satisfaction
- Improving the quality of services
- Lessening mistakes made by your staff members
- Improving productivity
We hope that these simple WhatsApp workflows help you to avoid the “I don’t know” or “why didn’t you tell me about this sooner” common mistakes. Also, reduce significantly the meantime to acknowledge (MTTA) metric that your ITops teams need to keep on track very often.
You can try out our SDK and test these examples in your environment first. Contact us.