Common terms referenced throughout Stern IT’s Service Level Agreements as well as other communications from Stern IT.
  • Change: Addition, modification, or removal of anything that can have an effect on IT services. Changes require approval before implementing.
    • Following the above example, a Change request would be to have UPS’s installed on the Network Printing server—the Change does not fix the incident, is not the fix for the Problem (restoring actual power), but changes the Environment to improve on the service—in this case, improving continuity for the service.
  • Event: Change of state that has significance for the management of an IT Service. Event monitoring is typically automated  and often leads to incidents being logged and corrective action taken.
  • Incident: An unplanned interruption or reduction in quality of an IT service—specific, single issues that are concerned with restoring service via fixes or workarounds, rather than diagnosing root problems causing the incident.
    • For Example: Networking printing goes down, and Client A calls to report he can’t print a document. Service Desk enters the incident and works to get him configured up with an alternate printing method.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI): A metric or metrics used to manage and measure the Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Cost Efficiency are measures. While a service may have many metrics, only the most important are defined as KPIs.

Help Desk Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • First-line resolution rate (w/o 2nd level support)
  • First call resolution
  • Average time to resolve
  • Average time to escalate
  • Average cost of handling
  • Cost per call: Total Service Desk cost divided by number of calls
  • Cost per minute: Total Service Desk cost divided by duration of calls
  • Average time to review and close a resolved call.
  • Calls by day, time of day, etc.
  • Abandoned Rate

  • Problem: Cause of one or more incidents (underlying/root causes).
    • In the example for Incident above, an example Problem would be that power was lost to the server responsible for network printing, causing the actual outage. The Incident is the loss of service to a user, the Problem is the loss of power that is the culprit behind the Incidents.
  • Service Request: Request for change to be made to a service, requested by a user, that is small, low risk, low impact, common, and recurrent.
    • For example: Relocate computer, install software, change password. Differs from an incident in that it generally does not result from an interruption in service, and from a change in that they generally do not affect services, but rather users themselves.
  • Standards/Previously Known As: To ensure we all use the same language, here are what has been decided upon for some standard terms, these are not necessarily ITIL compliant, but it is important we all use the same language.
  • Client: Use Client when referring to the customer; not user, customer, etc.
  • Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3: When defining escalation procedures, use the language ‘Tier 1’, ‘Tier 2’, ‘Tier 3’.
  • Incident Number: Used for Remedy case numbers. Previously: RT number, Ticket number, Job number, etc.