ITSM incident management

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McGill IT follows an Incident Management Process in order to resolve issues with McGill-provisioned technology affecting the community. Each incident is evaluated, prioritized, and assigned according to this process. Learn more below: 

ITSM incident management

IT Services has established an IT incident management process that is well-documented and followed by our central IT staff. This process ensures each incident that occurs is evaluated, prioritized and managed in a structured and consistent way. The following section explains what constitutes an incident, where you report an incident, and the steps we take to resolve them.

Incident management is one of six IT service management processes put in place by McGill IT Services.

What is an incident? 

An incident is an unplanned event that disrupts an individual’s or a group’s ability to use a McGill IT-provisioned system or equipment. It may involve the failure of a feature or service or some other type of operations failure. This may be any occurrence that significantly affects system software or hardware. When there is a major disruption to a system or platform, the System Status page on the IT Support site is updated accordingly.

Reporting an IT Incident

In most cases, if you need to report an IT incident, you should submit a ticket via the IT Support Site. If your incident requires an expedited solution (for example, the issue is preventing you from completing a critical or timely task), contact the IT Service Desk directly.

Incident prioritization

When an incident is reported, two factors - impact and urgency - are assessed to determine its priority:

  • Impact  reflects the number of people affected both within and outside the McGill community.
  • Urgency  reflects the degree to which the audience is affected.

Once the impact and urgency rating has been assigned, an incident's priority can then be calculated, as per the table below.

Urgency/Impact to determine priority Impact Level 1: Entire University Impact Level 2: Large department or group Impact Level 3: Several individuals Impact Level 4: Individual
Urgency Level 1: Work is completely halted Priority 1: Critical  Priority 1: Critical Priority 2: High  Priority 3: Moderate 
Urgency Level 2: Work is severely restricted Priority 1: Critical Priority 2: High  Priority 3: Moderate  Priority 3: Moderate 
Urgency Level 3: Work is degraded Priority 2: High  Priority 3: Moderate  Priority 3: Moderate  Priority 4: Low 
Urgency Level 4: Work is only minimally affected Priority 3: Moderate  Priority 3: Moderate  Priority 4: Low  Priority 4: Low 

Major Incidents: Priority 1 and 2

Incidents with a Priority of 1 or 2 are considered Major Incidents and are managed through IT's Major Incident Management process. All major incidents are communicated promptly to all ITS staff via notifications generated by our IT service management tool (ServiceNow).  If the incident has caused a major disruption to a system or platform, the System Status page on the IT Support site is updated accordingly.

If an incident's impact is significant and it cannot be immediately resolved, we will also inform the McGill community via various communications channels (ITS website, IT Support site, and social media) as needed, according to the type of incident.

Who to contact if you need support

If you have any questions regarding IT service management and how these processes work, please contact itsm [at] (ITSM - IT Service Management).


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