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My answers to some of your Service Management questions

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Is a password reset an Incident or a Service Request?

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This debate has been going almost as long as "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" If you read any ITIL forums, you will undoubtedly find this question posted at least once a year.

My answer to this question, is, if it really matters, you are doing something wrong.
The very basis of this question shows that the person asking is far too focused on the process instead of what they should be focusing on; the customer of the process. Yes, you can be too process focused. It doesn't matter if a password reset is an Incident or a Service Request as long as your procedures of addressing this are efficient and effective.
For any organization, their adoption of the IT Service Management practices will vary from other organizations. That's OK. As an organization's Service Management maturity grows, the focus should be on making the customer and their interactions with the Service Provider more effective and efficient instead of debating issues like this.
So, the question should be restated as: "What would make our customers more efficient? Should we handle a password reset as an Incident or a Service Request?" From this question, you can devise your own answer that is pertinent to your organization.
(For the record, a password reset is, indeed, a Service Request because it has nothing to do with some disruption to the service. However, this can be further debated in the instance where the service itself causes the need for the password to be reset.)

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I've been an ITIL instructor for over a decade teaching thousands of students around the world. My satisfaction comes from the "lightbulb" moment when students "get it". During these times I can see how they have figured out how to solve an issue that they have been struggling with or they see the vision of how their organization can become more competitive.

I teach primarily virtual courses which allows me to continue to connect with students without the stress of travel. My wife and three dogs appreciate this too.


  • Guest
    Esp Thursday, 01 December 2016

    Of course the question has not been answered. I agree the customer issue should be addressed first and foremost. But again what is the answer? if we are trying to do accurate reporting on how many Service request and how many incidents we are getting then Yes it does matter

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Guest Tuesday, 16 January 2018

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