In GLPI, as most ITSM frameworks say, Incident priority is based on its Impact and Urgency. There are some additional factors, which should be taken into account when assessing Incident priority like scope, complexity or resources but eventually it just boils down to a simple matrix to calculate Impact x Urgency.

The picture above shows a standard Incident priority matrix. Granulation of priority; 4 to 5 values should be enough to cover virtually all cases, yet not cause headaches to agents deciding which value to assign. Usually the lower the value, the higher the Priority, thus Priority 1 is the highest possible and Priority 5 is the lowest.


What is Impact and how do we assess one?

The impact is defined as the effect an Incident has on business. In other words, it’s the measure of how business critical it is.

Since this might be challenging to determine by an agent of Service Desk, some simplifications could be necessary. As a rule of thumb, Impact is determined by a number of users influenced by the Incident. Well documented Incident management process should have some leads to make it easy to see at a glance like a single couple-users-unit makes the Impact Low but the whole department of affected users makes the Impact High.

General best practice is to have a CMDB up-to-date, what enables an agent to determine the Impact just by looking up which Business Services are affected by the particular Configuration Item’s malfunction.

What is Urgency?

The Urgency is defined as the extent to which the Incident’s resolution can bear delay. This is to account for a variation of some Business Services which can differ in time. Somehow there is a solid difference when a finance application crashes during a payroll week and after the payroll week 🙂

Some tools perform corrections of Urgency automatically based on Impact, SLA, OLA and Underpinning Contracts involved, however, most of them does not. In that case, the best course of action seems to be to educate agents regularly and make sure they now parameters of signed contracts. Raised staff awareness level can go a long way.

How about GLPI and Incident prioritization?

GLPI is nicely aligned to ITSM when it comes to Incident prioritization. Priority matrix is called „Matrix of calculus for priority“. Navigate to Setup – General – Assistance, it looks like this:

GLPI Incident prioritization matrix

GLPI Incident prioritization matrix

Feel free to disable some Priority values to make it more simple if needed.

Major Incident in GLPI

Priority value Major is to be used for Major Incidents only. That is why it cannot be calculated automatically from a prioritization matrix.

It overrides all of the Priority values and it is a recommended best practice to have a Major Incident procedure in place.