Tips & Tricks #3: Using Impact & Urgency to Set Priority FPSC v11.5

One of the common examples that I cover when I’m teaching the BMC FootPrints Service Core Administrator training is the ITIL concept of using Impact and Urgency to more accurately and consistently set Priority. This concept says that, given the description of an incident, ten different service desk agents could come up with many different prioritizations, if left to each agent’s own sense of urgency and importance. However, if they are asked to select from a limited set of impacts and urgencies, the results will vary only slightly. I have tested this hypothesis on many groups of administrators over the years and have found this to be true and consistent.
Solving For:
Based upon the following matrix of values stored in two drop down fields (Impact & Urgency), I would like to automatically set the priority field.
Impact (Company, Department, Workgroup, Single User)
Urgency (Revenue Affected, Work Stopped, Work Impaired, Aesthetic)
Priority (Critical, High, Medium, Normal, Project)
Solution:
Use the built in automation function, AutoField, to set the Priority based upon Impact & Urgency.
Details:
Step 1
The first thing you will need to do is to develop a matrix so you know what value to set when you automate. I usually start with a matrix similar to the one in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1

IMPACT

URGENCY

 
Weight

4

3

2

1

n/a

    Revenue Affected Work Stopped Work Impaired Aesthetic Manual

4

Company

8

7

6

5

n/a

3

Department

7

6

5

4

n/a

2

Workgroup

6

5

4

3

n/a

1

Single User

5

4

3

2

n/a

 

n/a

Manual

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Although FootPrints doesn’t require numeric values, I assign each impact and each urgency a numeric value and use the sum of the two when they intersect to help map the impact and urgency to the proper priority. For example, in Figure 1 you can see where the value of Company (4) and the value of Revenue Affected (4) total to 8. In Figure 2 below, you can see where a value of 8 is mapped to the priority Critical.
Figure 2

 

PRIORITY

  Name Low Range High Range Color Abbreviation Displayed

1

Critical

7

8

Red CRIT YES

2

High

5

6

Yellow HIGH YES

3

Medium

3

4

Blue MED YES

4

Normal

2

2

Green NORM YES

5

Planning n/a n/a Black PROJ YES

Once you have completed your matrix, you have everything that you need in order to automate the setting of Priority based upon Impact & Urgency.
Step 2:
AUTOFIELD

The key FootPrints Service Core feature that allows you to set the value of a drop down field based upon the values in other drop down fields is AutoField. You get to AutoField by going to Administration >> Workspace >> Automated Workflow >> AutoField

AutoField uses the concepts of Result Field and Decision Fields. The Result Field is the field that you wish to set. The Decision Fields are the fields that you are evaluating to determine what value to set the Result Field to. Once you have clicked on AutoField and have entered the AutoField interface, select Priority from the Result Field drop down menu.

Then click on the green + and Add the priority field. Next, CTL-Click on Impact and Urgency to select them as Decision Fields. Finally, click the Apply button.

Once you have clicked the Apply button, you will be presented with an interface that will allow you to build the following matrix. You build the matrix by selecting a value for Impact, a value for Urgency, and a value for Priority. For example, if Impact is Company and Urgency is Revenue Affected, then Priority should be Critical based upon the matrix above. Remember to click Save Rule after each series. Use the following to implement the above examples.
Company + Revenue Affected = Critical
Company + Work Stopped = Critical
Company + Work Impaired = High
Company + Aesthetic = High
Department + Revenue Affected = Critical
Department + Work Stopped = High
Department + Work Impaired = High
Department + Aesthetic = Medium
Workgroup + Revenue Affected = High
Workgroup + Work Stopped = High
Workgroup + Work Impaired = Medium
Workgroup + Aesthetic = Medium
Single User + Revenue Affected = High
Single User + Work Stopped = Medium
Single User + Work Impaired = Medium
Single User + Aesthetic = Normal
Continue until you have mapped all of the desired choices. You should end up with something like this:

Verification:
In order to verify that your new automation is working, open a ticket and set Impact to Company and Urgency to Revenue Affected. Save the ticket. Verify that the Priority has been changed to Critical.
NOTE: AutoField “fires” on save so it will not dynamically update the Priority field in real time. If you want the Priority field to update in real time, you will need to inject some JavaScript to make it work.
More on JavaScript injection next month!
by Evans Martin, RightStar Systems

2013-04-15T19:16:26+00:00April 15th, 2013|FPSC|