Dealing with any major IT incident is chaotic – whether it’s a system outage, a data breach or even just a planned upgrade that goes off the rails.

In the moment, you’re solely focused on resolving the issue and getting the systems back online. But once it’s done, don’t miss an opportunity to debrief and look for ways to improve the overall incident management process.

Here are some key questions to ask. Taking the time to investigate the problems in your process can help ensure the next incident is managed more effectively.

Are The Right People Handling The Incidents?

It sounds simple but it’s a valid question. Do you have the right people assigned to the right incidents? Are you funneling everything through the service desk’s Level 1 team? Are they too slow in bringing in more expertise from the Level 2 or Level 3 teams?

Being able to quickly access the right people is key to getting issues resolved quickly.  You need to know what skills each team has and what knowledge gaps exist. If you find that you don’t have the skills you need on your internal team, either add new personnel, train your existing team or look for outsourced resources you can bring in to address these issues.

Are You Able To Gather Your Team Quickly?

This is another issue that seems simple but is actually a major problem for many IT organizations. Whenever a major incident occurs, you need to be able to quickly notify and gather your team.

Instead of just texting your team, use an alerting system that allows you to communicate via a number of methods, customized to each team member’s preference.

While one person prefers a call, another might prefer a text. An alerting system also gives you the ability to easily set up a conference bridge and send out that information to the group, all at once.

Implementing the right alerting system closes the gaps in your communication and ensures you can access your IT resources and get them working on the issues immediately.

Are You Taking Too Long To Diagnose Issues?

Tracking key metrics like length of time to resolution is a great way to see where your process is weak. If issues are assigned to the Level 1 team and not escalating to the Level 2 or Level 3 team fast enough, you’re losing time and impacting the company’s productivity and revenue.

If you notice that the more experienced IT resources aren’t being called in quickly enough, look at ways to implement escalation procedures. Automating the escalation process with an IT alerting system is a great way to speed up your resolution time. Set the trigger levels and escalation paths and then the system ensures the message is delivered quickly.

Are You Failing To Identify Trends?

A key part of successful IT management is looking for and identifying trends in problems early so you can address them before they become bigger issues. Proactive Level 1 teams should be looking for similar or repetitive calls to the support desk. This often signals a bigger issue that needs to be addressed. Spotting the trend and then acting quickly keeps it from spreading across the business.

To learn more about the critical role that communication plays in successful IT incident management, download our new eBook, “Streamlining IT Service Desk Incident Management: 3 Process Changes To Make Now.”

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