Setting Up Incident management tools

Standard

Almost any sized organization should have a way of managing and recording incidents within the company.  Certainly  for even the smallest help desk running an incident management system will be hugely beneficial.  In most technology environments it’s likely that similar incidents will keep occurring and it’s easy to lose sight of them without some sort of system to track, monitor and resolve them efficiently.

Incident management tools (also known as defect management tools) are among the most extensively used kinds of test tool. At a fundamental level incident management tools are actually used to carry out 2 crucial activities: creation of an incident report; and maintenance of details regarding the event as it progresses through the incident life cycle. The degree of detail to become captured about the event can be varied relying on the qualities of the tool itself and the method in which the incident management tool is configured and used by the test organization.

For instance, the incident management tool can be configured so that lots of obligatory information is required so as to conform with industry or generic standards such as IEEE I044. In addition, workflow regulations may likewise be applied to guarantee that the agreed event life cycle is stringently applied, with incidents only able to get assigned to specific teams or individuals. Alternatively. the tool may be configured to require very limited compulsory information. with most fields being free format.

The integrity and accuracy of the data is vital and so there should be limits on how many people are able to modify and change inputted information.  You should also consider restricting access from remote clients as this ensures that only valid management can access.  If remote access is required, there should be some restrictions perhaps an encrypted connection through a corporate VPN or designated IP address.  There are firms who can supply proxies and provide residential IP addresses – http://www.theninjaproxy.org/security/residential-ip-provider/ which may be useful for management who travel a lot.

Incident management tools also use a database to store and manage specifics of incidents. This allows the incident to be categorized based upon the values stored in appropriate fields. Such values will change during the course of the incident life cycle as the event is analysed, debugged, fixed and re-tested. It is commonly feasible to view the history of modifications made to the incident. The data base structure also allows incidents to be browsed and analysed (utilizing either filters or more complicated SQL-type queries).

This offers the basis for management information regarding incidents. Bear in mind that as the values maintained against each incident change, the management information will certainly also change. Therefore users have to be aware of the threat when using outdated reports. This data can also be used combined with data held in test management tools when preparing and estimating for future projects.

It can additionally be analyzed to provide input to test procedure improvement projects. Fields in the database framework normally include:

    • Priority (e.g. high, medium, low).
    • Severity (e.g. high, medium, low).
    • Assignee (the person to whom the incident is presently assigned, e.; a developer for debugging, a tester to perform re-testing).
    • Status in the incident life cycle (e.g. New, Open, Fixed, Reopen, close.

This would enable management information to be produced from the incident management database concerning the number of high-priority incidents wk a status of Open or Reopen that are assigned to, say, Bob Peters, compared with the number assigned to Jim Collins. Some test management tools include totally integrated incident management tools as a component of their primary product, while other incident management tools can be integrated with test management, requirements management.

Further Reading:
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