Calculating priority automatically

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Jira Service Desk comes with some powerful automation tools. IT teams can set up their service desk to calculate a request's priority automatically.

Removing manual processes gives time back to your team. Your team spends less time triaging and prioritizing requests. And, they spend more time resolving IT service tasks. Calculating the correct priority helps put requests into the correct SLA.

Some IT teams use an impact-urgency matrix to determine the priority of an issue. This page walks through an example for defining and documenting this matrix. Then, it discusses using these decisions to automate how priority calculation with these fields. 

At the end, you should know a bit more about automation and how it can help you remove all sorts of manual processes. Automation frees up your agents' time and makes your service desk more efficient.

Define impact and urgency values in your knowledge base

Priority and urgency mean different things to different teams. We recommend you define what these terms mean to your team and document them in your knowledge base.

You may enjoy hosting a workshop. Aim to define and educate team members about how to assign impact and urgency to a request. Consensus empowers your team that their categorizations are correct and accurate.

Include stakeholders from your vendors and other subject matter experts. They can help you define what makes a request urgent or what determines the impact of a certain request.

Create a document in your linked Confluence knowledge base that captures these decisions. Use this document to train service desk team members and link to it from your portal.

Your page might look like this:

Create a priority matrix using your impact and urgency values

Work with your team to determine how your service desk prioritizes incidents. Below is a sample matrix for how our team thinks about priority. Yours may differ depending on your resources and other factors.

Here's an example matrix:

Impact

Urgency
Critical High Medium Low

Extensive / Widespread

Highest priority Highest priority High priority Medium priority
Significant / Large Highest priority High priority Medium priority Low priority
Moderate / Limited High priority Medium priority Low priority Lowest priority
Minor / Localized Medium priority Low priority Lowest priority Lowest priority

Create an automation rule for assigning priority

Your service desk can execute your priority matrix automatically.

  1. In your service desk project, select Settings () > Automation.
  2. Select Add rule.
  3. Select Custom rule.
  4. Give your rule a meaningful name and description.
  5. Set up IF and THEN modules that correspond to your matrix. For example, the following recipe automates the priority matrix shown above:
WHEN IF THEN
Issue created

Issue matches

Advanced:

(Urgency = Critical AND Impact = "Extensive / Widespread") 
OR (Urgency = Critical AND Impact = "Significant / Large") 
OR (Urgency = High AND Impact = "Extensive / Widespread")

Edit issue

Field: Priority

Value: Highest

Issue matches

Advanced:

(Urgency = Critical AND Impact = "Moderate / Limited") 
OR (Urgency = High AND Impact = "Significant / Large") 
OR (Urgency = Medium AND Impact = "Extensive / Widespread")

Edit issue

Field: Priority

Value: High

Issue matches

Advanced:

(Urgency = Critical AND Impact = "Minor / Localized") 
OR (Urgency = High AND Impact = "Moderate / Limited") 
OR (Urgency = Medium AND Impact = "Significant / Large") 
OR (Urgency = Low AND Impact = "Extensive / Widespread")

Edit issue

Field: Priority

Value: Medium

Issue matches

Advanced:

(Urgency = High AND Impact = "Minor / Localized") 
OR (Urgency = Medium AND Impact = "Moderate / Limited") 
OR (Urgency = Low AND Impact = "Significant / Large")

Edit issue

Field: Priority

Value: Low

Issue matches

Advanced:

Urgency = Medium AND Impact = "Minor / Localized") 
OR (Urgency = Low AND Impact = "Moderate / Limited") 
OR (Urgency = Low AND Impact = "Minor / Localized")

Edit issue

Field: Priority

Value: Lowest

6. Select Save.

Require impact and urgency fields in the portal

Your automation rule relies on a request having the impact and urgency fields filled out. To ensure customers submit these fields, make them mandatory on your request type forms.

To add the fields to your request type:

  1. In your service desk project, select Settings () > Request types.
  2. In the request types entry, select Edit fields.
  3. Select Add field
  4. Tick the checkboxes next to Impact and Urgency and select Apply.

To make the fields mandatory:

  1. Select the field's name in the table to edit the field.
  2. Under the Required column, select Yes from the dropdown menu.
  3. Select Update.

Optionally, include a link to your Confluence knowledge base document on impact and urgency. Edit the Field help section of the Impact or Urgency entries to include this link.

Learn more about IT service management (ITSM)

Get more tips and tricks for successful ITSM, view case studies, and learn how to take your service desk to the next level. Check out the ITSM resources on IT Unplugged.

Last modified on Jul 2, 2018

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