IT Service Management - Incident Process

An Incident is an unplanned interruption to an IT Service or reduction in the quality of an IT Service. The ITIL Incident Management Process ensures that normal service operation is restored as quickly as possible and the business impact is minimized. An impact grid is used to determine the severity of the Incident.


The business impact of the incident in regards to how large (or small) the interruption is to the business area(s).

1-Extensive/Widespread: University of Minnesota issue of a service, all users impacted
2-Significant/Large: Department(s) and Location(s) impacted, or a significant service is unavailable to the public
3-Moderate/Limited: Low business impact, may be single or multi-user issue where the service is not significant
4-Minor/Localized: Single-user business impact, general break/fix issue with no or little business impact


The business urgency of the incident in regards to how quickly the incident is needed to be resolved.

1-Critical: The business area cannot provide a critical service to the public
2-High: The business area cannot provide a non-critical service to the public, single-user cannot perform a critical job function
3-Medium: Single-user cannot complete a job function
4-Low: No urgency/impact to business services, single-user “how to” or related to a service request.

Service Level Agreement

The Impact determines the Service Level Agreement (SLA). A SLA is our promise to the University community that we will respond to the caller and resolve their incidents within a certain amount of time. Those times depend on the priority level of the incident:

Priority Response Time Resolution Time

Priority 1 - Critical

15 minutes (24 hours/day, 7 days/week)

4 hours (24 hours/day, 7 days/week)

Priority 2 - High

30 minutes

8 hours (excluding pending time), 8-5pm M-F excluding holidays

Priority 3 - Medium

1 hour

16 hours (excluding pending time), 8-5pm M-F excluding holidays

Priority 4 - Low

2 hours

32 hours (excluding pending time), 8-5pm M-F excluding holidays


Various support teams aid in restoring service when an incident is identified.

  • Our Level 1 Service Desk is the first point of contact via phone, chat or email. The University also offers walk in support via 6 regional zones office.
  • When an incident requires more technical expertise, it is escalated to our Tier 2 support teams.
  • Tier 3 teams are engaged via incident tasks under certain criteria, dependent on the service.

All customer contact and work completed by support teams is tracked in our Service Management Tool, TeamDynamix. This tool also stores all the resources our teams use to triage issues. These are called Knowledge Based articles. Much of the University’s knowledge is public (self help guides) and can be accessed by a search using key words via IT Website. Some knowledge articles are created just for IT support teams and are called Incident Models. These documents list the steps teams should follow to triage issues and what teams should be included in the escalation path. The purpose of all of these tools is to help support the timely resolution of customer's issues. See the Knowledge Management Process page for more information about these resources. 

Our team is available to set up support models for new services, or improve support models for existing services. Don't hesitate to reach out!