ServiceHub - Prioritizing Service Requests & Incidents

This article provides definitions to the priority levels on a service requests and incidents.


Why do we use Priority? Priority is used to establish timescales and effort to respond to and resolve an issue (incident or service request). Priority is derived from an impact and urgency Priority Matrix.

  • Impact: Measures the effect of an Incident/Service Request (ex: Number of Customers affected/influenced by the Incident).
  • Urgency: Measures how long it will be until the Incident has a significant impact on the business (ex: If the e-mail server goes down, all customers are immediately affected).


Who assigns priority?

The initial selections are set by the Requestor upon ticket submission.  A workflow runs in the background to assign a priority level to the Service Request/Incident.

What happens if priority needs to be shifted?

It is possible that the Priority could need to be shifted while it is being handled. For example, as more information is learned about the actual number of clients impacted by an incident, the Priority may need to be increased from what was initially thought to only be impacting one client. The support person working the ticket can choose to adjust the prioritization if needed. A common set of Incident/Request Priority definitions across UWS is new, and it is important because it allows support teams across UWS to speak a common language regarding the impact and urgency of incidents and requests independent of IT services, applications or underlying technologies.

Prioritizing Service Requests & Incidents

Service Request/Incident Priority Matrix
  High Impact (Affects Organization) Medium Impact (Affects Department) Low Impact (Affects User)
High Urgency 1 2 3
Medium Urgency 2 3 4
Low Urgency 3 4 5

The priority levels determine the first response time frame of a request. 

Examples of Service Request/Incident Priorizitation

Examples of Service Request Prioritization:

  • Priority 1: High priority person(s) service request or activity with a strict deadline.
  • Priority 2: Core office request for information for upcoming (but not as strict) deadline.
  • Priority 3: Computer won't turn on (hard down) or issue that affects individual user with an upcoming deadline (cannot log into myUWS to submit grades and they are due tomorrow).
  • Priority 4: Request to add a new mailbox for new user (with an upcoming but not immediate deadline)
  • Priority 5: Information about a new service with no urgency associated

Examples of Incident Prioritization:

  • Priority 1: webCampus is down; Hacking/compromise of critical UWS system leading to service unavailability/disclosure of restricted data
  • Priority 2: webCampus is down but during Spring Break; Classroom multimedia issues
  • Priority 3: Can't sign into computer, computer won't turn on.
  • Priority 4: Multifunction printer/fax/scanner servicing a department stops functioning
  • Priority 5: General information requests. "I have a question about Microsoft Office"

After the request is submitted, the workflow will assign priority to the ticket. The priority level will determine the respond by and resolve by target times in the Service Level Agreements (SLA). See below for SLA information.

Service Level Agreements

The UWS IT department (more specifically the Service Desk) operates based on Service Level Agreements (SLA).

Service Levels, Rankings, and Priority
Severity Level Description Target Response
Priority 1 System outage affecting the entire institution or multiple groups or users Immediate
Priority 2 System functionality interrupted, affecting multiple groups or users Within 1 hour
Priority 3 High priority person(s) service request or activity with a strict deadline. Within 30 minutes
Priority 4 Service request or incident that may interrupt business, but not critical Within one business day
Priority 5 Information about a new service with no urgency associated Within two business day


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Article ID: 96213
Tue 1/21/20 4:31 PM
Mon 2/10/20 4:27 PM