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Every ticket in your issue handling system tells a story. Incidents don’t “just happen” – there is always a reason, a root cause, and naturally – a person or group of people suffering the impact. Understanding the broad strokes of how each incident’s story plays out is critical to figuring out the best solution.

Fix it quickly

Incidents are the result of service failures or interruption, so any disruption has direct impact on your customers, and consequently, on your business. When an incident occurs, it is important to evaluate the impact it could bring to your customers. Once the impact is evaluated, it is easier to prioritize the solution approach – the more customers affected, the higher the priority is to resolve the incident.

mttr-checklist-bannerAll this might sound obvious – all service providers strive to have the most minimal amount of downtime in their service availability as possible. So when it comes to any service disruption, companies race against time to “put the fire out” so their service can be restored to its normal functioning, and the business, especially the customers, feel little impact. Therefore, what so often happens, outages and malfunctions get treated as isolated cases and are fixed as fast as possible, with little thought towards root-cause analysis and long-term solution planning. However, while this may approach may restore the service faster, in the long term recurring outages that share a root-cause amount for higher overall downtime.

Don’t let it happen again

This is why identifying the root-cause is such an essential step – if several incidents are being caused by the same problem, then the fix must go beyond a short term solution. Rather than fix what could be considered a symptom of a problem, it is more valuable to fix the problem itself. And even though seeing this value is hard in the heat of the moment, not looking for the root-cause of an incident and just blindly fixing it, or sitting inactive on the knowledge of an underlying problem can be considered borderline negligence in a professional incident management environment.

And so when forming an incident management strategy, both the quick fix methodology and the root-cause treatments need to find an equal place. And when it later comes to executing this strategy, both need to be in balance when it comes to operational priority and effort distribution.