What is an Incident management Process

Understand the basics of Incident Management Process, how to set it up, how to track the right metrics and the tools to optimize the process

Do you work in an office? Do you remember any time when a colleague or a visitor faced a minor accident at your workplace? That’s obviously sad. But how do you prevent such occurrences from happening again? That is called the Safety Incident Management Process. 

Incident management is a systematic process that organizations use to identify, assess, prioritize, and resolve problems that arise within their operations. It can be anything from software incidents which results in disruption of service or safety incidents that lead to potential ill health for the actors. It is a key aspect of any organization's overall risk management strategy, as it helps to ensure that disruptions to business operations are minimized and that the organization is able to respond quickly and effectively to any issues that do arise.

Incident management in a workplace

In a workplace, incident management involves the identification and resolution of problems or issues that have the potential to disrupt business operations. This can include anything from equipment failures and IT system outages to accidents or incidents involving employees or customers.

How to classify Incidents?

Incidents can be classified based on a number of different factors, including the severity of the impact, the likelihood of the incident occurring, and the level of risk involved. For example, a minor equipment malfunction that has a low likelihood of occurring and poses a low risk to the organization might be classified as a low-priority incident, while a major accident involving serious injury or damage to property would be classified as a high-priority incident.

Typically, incidents are classified based on their severity. A sample type of classification could be

  • Critical
  • Urgent
  • Major
  • Minor

But an organization can have its own definition of a good incident classification.

Why is Incident Management Important?

Any successful business needs to ensure there are less disruptions to its basic operations. This involves understanding the disruptions that can occur and placing necessary checks and balances in place to reduce such instances. This is exactly where Incident management plays a big part. The importance of incident management lies in its ability to help organizations minimize disruptions to business operations and ensure that they are able to continue providing services to customers or clients. By identifying and resolving problems quickly and effectively, organizations can prevent small issues from turning into major disruptions.

Steps involved in Incident Management

There are several key steps involved in incident management, including:

  1. Identification: The first step in incident management is to identify that an incident has occurred. This can be done through various methods, such as monitoring systems, employee reports, or customer complaints.
  2. Assessment: Once an incident has been identified, it must be assessed to determine the severity of the impact and the level of risk involved. This is typically done by a senior staff member.
  3. Prioritization: Based on the assessment, the incident is then prioritized to determine the appropriate response. This step is also called Risk Assessment. 
  4. Resolution: The incident is then resolved through a variety of methods, including repairing equipment, implementing temporary fixes, or initiating emergency procedures.
  5. Follow-up: After the incident has been resolved, a follow-up process is initiated to identify any underlying issues that may have contributed to the incident and to implement measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

When following an Incident management process, it is not always possible to address all incidents to the fullest extent. So, it makes sense to prioritize instances where the severity is high or the occurrence is high. Resolving these will improve the overall impact to the business and to the customer. 

A sample prioritization matrix can be shown below.

Metrics to track Incident Management Process

There are several key metrics that organizations can use to measure the effectiveness of their incident management process, including:

MTTR - Mean Time To Resolution

This measures the length of time it takes to resolve an incident. You can calculate it as the difference between the time the incident is raised and when it is resolved. The Follow up process can happen after. The MTTR threshold can be different for different severity levels.

Number of incidents or Incident Frequency

This measures the total number of incidents that occur within a given period of time. 

Cost of incidents

This measures the financial impact of incidents on the organization.

Customer satisfaction

This measures the level of satisfaction among customers or clients affected by the incident.

Service Level Agreement

This is not a metric but a benchmark on how long each incident response should take. This is the threshold within which a necessary incident needs to be identified and addressed. 

Improving the overall Incident Management Process

To improve the overall incident management process, organizations can implement a number of best practices, including:

  • Establishing clear procedures for identifying and reporting incidents. This involves identifying the right tools to report these incidents.
  • Training employees on how to recognize and report incidents. This can be periodic training, workplace information material so they always have the details handy.
  • Implementing effective communication processes to ensure that all relevant parties are informed about incidents in a timely manner. Providing necessary escalation tools can really help in this process. 
  • Regularly reviewing and updating incident management procedures to ensure that they are effective and meet the needs of the organization.

Using Zorp to manage your incident management process

Zorp is an Operations platform to build powerful software tools to optimize different parts of your operations. One of the key facets of the Zorp platform is that it lets you build tools that really fit your specific needs as an organization. 

For the incident management process, irrespective of the kind of incident you want to address, Zorp can help you build the right tool to manage the following. 

Reporting Incidents

Build mobile applications to report incidents instantly along with details like notes, pictures, signature and specific people impacted.

Alerting Incident creations

When an incident is created, alert the necessary teams instantly so they can follow up on the process

Create Incident Risk Assessment

The central team can prepare the Risk Assessment report based on the incident data. They can collect additional information from the ground if needed

Sign off on Incident Risk Assessments

The management team can review the risk assessments and sign off on them once they are convinced. All these data are digitally tracked and stored so reports can be built for evaluation

Reporting

Finally, see granular reports on incidents occurring at various levels like day, time, customer, location etc and see how well they are being managed. 

In summary, Incident management is a critical process for most large organizations. Having the right process and tools will help you manage unexpected incidents and their impact on your business.