Modifying Urgency, Impact, and Priority

An item's Priority determines the sequence in which it will be addressed. High priority items should be addressed quickly and escalated up the organizational hierarchy, if necessary. Lower priority items can be addressed in a less urgent manner, and they should not be re-prioritized to expedite their resolution.

The default Service Manager includes five levels of priority, with 1 being the highest priority and 5 being the lowest priority.

ITIL defines priority as being based on the impact to the business and the urgency for which the resolution is required by the user or business. In other words, impact is a measure of how business critical the incident is and urgency is the speed required to resolve the incident. Service Manager automatically determines priority after you have selected the impact and urgency for an item.

Tip: Since there are additional elements that could be included in determining the priority, like scope, complexity, who is requesting the change, and resources required for resolution, submitters can override the automatically determined priority by selecting a new one in the Priority list.
Note: Overall impact can be difficult to determine, and it is common to simplify impact by relating it directly to how many users are affected by the item. Serena Service Manager uses this approach and allows for three impact choices: Enterprise, Department, and Single User.

The following table explains how the priority is determined based on impact and urgency:

Table 1. Urgency, Impact, and Priority
Enterprise Department Single User
Urgency High 1 2 3
Medium 2 3 4
Low 3 4 5

Implementation Method

The automatic calculation is performed by rules defined in SBM Composer and called by form actions.

You can make modifications to how the priority is calculated by changing these rules. Note that this change must be performed for each process app, such as Incident Management, Problem Management, and Change Management.

To update the rules:
  1. Open the process app in SBM Composer.
  2. Add the selection values to the Impact, Urgency, and Priority fields in the primary table. For example, for Incident Management, you would add the values to the Incidents table under Data Design.
  3. Add a rule to calculate the new priority. Use an existing rule, such as Priority 1 Calculation.
  4. Open the submit form and include the new rule in the Click: Set Priority Based on Urgency and Impact Values form action. You can include the rule by adding another Else If condition and setting the priority appropriately for when the condition is true. Refer to the existing conditions for examples.
  5. Copy the updated form action to the other transition forms.
  6. Repeat for all of the process apps.