There are two main aims of the incident management process:

- To restore services back to normal operation as fast as possible
- To mitigate the adverse effect of critical incidences on business operations. 

The ITIL training program provides an advanced understanding of the incident management process.

ITIL® Foundation Training

What Is Incident Management in the ITIL Framework?

According to ITIL terminology, an ‘incident’ is described as an unplanned interruption.

Incident management, as the name suggests, is the process that is used to manage the lifecycle of all incidents. Incidents can be identified by technical staff, reported and detected by event monitoring tools, be conveyed by communications from users (usually through a telephone call to the service desk), or reported by third-party suppliers and partners.


The purpose of incident management is to reinstate normal service operations as fast as possible and mitigate the negative impact on business operations, thus making sure that the agreed levels of service quality are maintained. The operational state where CIs and services are performing within their agreed service parameters and operational levels is called ‘Normal service operation’.


The main objectives of the incident management process are as follows:

- Make sure that standardized procedures and methods are used for prompt and efficient response, documentation, analysis, reporting of incidents, and ongoing management.
- Improve the communication and visibility of incidents
- Improve the business perception of IT with the help of a professional approach, so that incidents will be resolved and reported quickly
- Line up incident management activities and prioritize them accordingly
- Enhance and maintain user satisfaction without losing the quality of IT services


Incident management includes any event which disrupts, or something which is capable of causing a disruption to the service. This includes events which are communicated directly by users – through an interface from event management to incident management tools – or through the service desk.

Value of incident management

- Ability to mitigate the risk of unplanned costs and labor for both  business and IT support staff
- Ability to detect and resolve incidents, which in turn results in lower downtime to the business, which means increased availability of the service
- Ability to line up IT activity to real-time business priorities
- Ability to identify the potential areas of improvement


- Incidents and their status must be reported in a timely manner.
- Incidents resolution should be within the timeframes acceptable to business.
- Maintaining Customer satisfaction is very important.
- Incident handling and processing should be in line with overall service levels and objectives
- All incidents should be managed and stored in a single management system
- All incidents should subscribe to a standard classification schema which is consistent across the business enterprise
- All incident records should be audited in regular intervals to ensure that entries are categorized correctly 

Key Principles of ITIL Incident

There are some basic things that need to be taken care of when considering incident management.


Timescales should be agreed upon for all incident handling stages, based upon the overall incident response and the resolution targets within SLAs

Incident models

Many incidents are not new; there are some incidents which happen recurrently. For this reason, many organizations find it very helpful to predefine ‘standard’ incident models, so that they can be referred to when needed and applied to incidents as they occur.

About the Author

Eshna VermaEshna Verma

Eshna writes on PMP, PRINCE2, ITIL, ITSM, & Ethical Hacking. She has done her Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT, and The Telegraph. She loves travelling and photography.

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