A basic taxonomy for service records (tickets)

This is a taxonomy (a naming or categorising system) for the records you need to track when supporting services (the Respond practice area).

  • Interactions
  • Responses
    • Action
      • Provisioning
      • Booking
      • Ordering
      • Change
      • Work
    • Support
      • Incident
      • Fault
      • Help
      • Advice
    • Input
      • Proposal
      • Suggestion
      • Feedback
      • Complaint
  • Problems
  • Interruptions


Interaction: with your consumers, whether by phone, email, Twitter or accosted in the hallway
Action: I'd like to say Service but man is that an exhausted word!
Support: not everything will be/needs to be fixed so not Repair
Input: the user is contributing
Problems: the underlying causes
Interruptions: to service, i.e. the actual period of the outage

  1. Provisioning: User requires access to a service or part of a service, e.g. a security permission, a menu option, a token, a digital certificate, a client install, a desktop device, a phone, etc.
  2. Booking: Scheduled attendance at training, seminar, meeting, reservation of a resource, annual leave.
  3. Ordering: Books, desks, catering, stationery, travel.
  4. Change: as defined by change management, typically means change to a CI. Some organisations allow users to open RFCs directly, others have some form of prior request entity.
  5. Work: tasks that falls outside change management. Run a report. Move a PC. Install a projector.
  6. Incident: an unplanned interruption to an IT service or reduction in the quality of an IT service. (Question: if an interruption or degradation of service is within the terms of the SLA, is it an Incident? )
  7. Fault: Failure or detected imminent failure of a CI, no service impact (yet). Only users within IT would be expected to report these, or an automated tool. If confirmed, it will spawn a Problem. (This was much debated recently)
  8. Help: Correcting data arising from user error (NOT from a Problem). Restoring a deleted file, untangling a mess...
  9. Advice: How do I … ? Should I … ? Which is the best way to … ?
  10. Proposal: The service desk can be a front-end to the demand component of project portfolio management. Think of it as a Request For Project.
  11. Suggestion: idea, requirement, request. Something less formal or evolved than a proposal but might lead to one.
  12. Feedback: praise, reported experience, remarks.
  13. Complaint: poor experience.

Of course Complaint had to be #13.

Whatever tool you use to record this information may force a different taxonomy - way of grouping and categorising. This is an "ideal" model: try to get as close to it as you can with your own system.

Some of this information was originally published on the author's blog The IT Skeptic and the rest is drawn from the book Basic Service Management