IT Governance

How to Reduce the Number of High-Priority Incident Tickets

Usually in managing an incident, end users are able to select the priority of the incident ticket as they see it, because they are ultimately the deciding factors of business outcomes. So how can companies make it right and easy for end users to determine what should be the priority? Sanjeev NC, in writing for, suggests a few options to facilitate end users’ process of choosing the priority of an incident ticket:

  • Add help text, or a tooltip, right next to the impact and urgency fields.
  • Provide end users with an impact and urgency cheat sheet.
  • Rename the available options, from low-high, to something better suited to your needs.

Label Things Smarter

Unless users work with IT in some ways, few have actually heard of ITIL. So they probably won’t understand the weight of words like “urgency” and “impact” and how much they mean to the service desk. What is to distinguish “low” from “medium” in these cases?

In most cases, end users will likely choose the options that will help them have their issues fixed as quickly as possible. Indeed, they won’t see why they shouldn’t do so since it doesn’t really make a difference for them—they don’t have to solve the issues themselves anyway, and it’s good to get things solved immediately. However, it makes a huge difference for the service desk who will have to try to catch their breath while fixing problems all marked with “high” urgency or priority. This is why adding explanatory text alongside options will help raise users’ awareness of the options that they are choosing. An example by NC is described below:

Low Will affect me and the business sometime next December
Medium Will affect the business later today or tomorrow
High Has already affected the business (serious stuff)

The service desk should also follow the logic that, if an issue really is urgent and impactful to their business, their users will most likely call or communicate in a way that can generate a quicker response, rather than log their issue via self-service and sit back and wait.

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