Help Desk Priority (Low-Med-High) Discussion

I have only been the end-user of a help desk system. I am always hesitant on what Priority to pick for my issue: Low/Medium/High. Besides the obvious low-priority issues that have no time constraint and high-priority issues which I need done ASAP… I never know which measure to choose for my issue.

Perhaps those of you who use a help desk system ‘from the other side’ can help me. Some questions that come to mind:

  • Do you always address tickets in order of priority?
  • Is there any negative feeling/action you have on tickets that are put as ‘High’ priority when they are actually not.
  • Or, how often is the Priority even considered?

This issue can also be paralleled into other matters in which importance/priority is decided. I hope this can turn into a good discussion!

I’ve usually seen something like this in practice:

The highest priority is usually mission-critical stuff (reasonable stuff that stops people from performing their jobs, or stuff that loses money when broken). This is usually the stuff that’s marked “high priority”.

Anything following that is usually left at default as “normal/medium”. The mission critical stuff is usually followed by (reasonable) requests coming from the higher echelon of the organization. Then, probably the more time sensitive stuff, followed by the stuff that’s been sitting idle the longest. Then everything else sorted by whatever method you use that helps you get things done in the most efficient manner.

There is ususally and SLA (service level agreement) set up for IT to provide support to their clients. You can ask for a copy as the priorities for Problem and Change Management should be defined in there. Generally, Priority 1 is as Fore Flow describes, mission critical, major event such as main server crash, power outage etc, and the Priorites following depend on application importance and/or number of clients affected. The SLA should define which Priority should be assigned to an incident logged at the Helpdesk and also the timescales for resolution.

Hope this helps.