Priority Definition and Basic Service Levels


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The Priority is derived from the Impact and the Urgency, based on the context of an organization. Octopus can derive automatically an incident priority by selecting the impact and urgency of an incident.

This section provides few examples to help you in defining your priority level.

You can also use the worksheet IM - Priorities - Standard service levels, which contains hints and models to help you formally establish priorities and service levels.

ATTENTION: Generally, priorities are defined and used to resolve incidents in an effective way; it is not necessary to use priorities for Service Requests, as an execution target is to be defined for each Service Request type.


  • Impact measure the effect of an incident on business processes. We can evaluate the impact based on several criteria:
    • The number of affected users.
    • The potential financial losses.
    • The number of affected services.
    • Breaches of regulations or laws.
    • The reputation of the company.
    • Other reasons.
  • Urgency is the time it takes to an incident to have a significant impact on business.
    • a period where a system is considered as more critical
    • when some systems are identified critical with a high availability level
  • Priority is based on impact and urgency and is used to identify required times for actions to be taken.
    • The allocation of a priority code determines how the incident is being taken care of by the tool and the support staff. In Octopus, using the fields impact and urgency is optional to obtain a priority.

Priority Matrix

Use the following matrix as a sample to help you in establishing your own priority derivation Matrix. Its impact criterion is based on a number of users. It's built on 3 impact and 2 urgency levels, leading to 4 priority levels (as pre-configured in Octopus). The levels and their terminology of this model can be modified and adapted to your context.

Priority Level Definition

The following table is a model suggesting you how could be defined a Priority Level. 

The description for each Priority depends on the context of your organization, and on the criteria that you may need to consider when the time comes to the Service Desk Agent to establish an Incident Priority. A resolution target will be set for each Priority; the objective is to resolve incidents within this delay.







Interruption making a critical functionality inaccessible or a complete network interruption causing a severe impact on services availability. There is no possible alternative.

4 hours



Critical functionality or network access interrupted, degraded or unusable, having a severe impact on services availability. No acceptable alternative is possible.

24 hours



Non-critical function or procedure, unusable or hard to use having an operational impact, but with no direct impact on services availability. A workaround is available.

3 days



Application or personal procedure unusable, where a workaround is available or a repair is possible.

5 days

It is possible to configure Response Delays for each priority - This must be configured by the Octopus team directly in your database. Contact us to benefit from this configuration. 

Octopus offers specialized workshops that are adapted to your organization in order to help you formalize certain ITIL concepts. Contact us for more information on these or other workshops.

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