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Incident Priority

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:58 am
by JamesM
Hi ITIL Community,

Newbie to ITIL here! My question is on the topic of incident priority definitions. As far as I am aware, ITIL is not prescriptive about the precise definitions of what constitutes a P1, P2, P3, P4 etc - however this may be a gap in my knowledge!

I am currently formulating priority definitions which are specific to my organisation. In researching priorities, I often see references to a "workaround" being available (or lack of) for say a P3 incident. Take for example this simple definition of a P3, "A minor inconvenience to customers, workaround available."

This seems counter-intuitive to me, as surely if a "workaround" is available, by definition the incident would be resolved? If the goal of IM is restore service as soon as possible by whichever means, a workaround would allow the incident to be resolved. Further troubleshooting to identify the root cause may progress under Problem Management.

Are we then into the territory of what the customer would constitute a "viable" workaround? For example, if a workaround exists, but causes 10x time/effort spent on an activity, it would be non-viable and would therefore continue to meet the definition of a P3? If the workaround is viable in the "long-term" i.e. the business could survive without full service restoral for an extended period without a detrimental impact, this would allow the incident to be resolved and followed up through Problem Management?

Apologies if this topic has arose on the forum previously. It's been troubling me for some time and I'm keen to hear your thoughts! Thanks in advance :D

N.B. I am aware that priority can be formulated through a combination of urgency and impact, however we are not that mature in our ITIL journey yet, and for now I would like to keep to simple definitions for each priority level.