email nightmare best practices heat ivanti service manager ism

Email, productivity tool or time-waster?

Email was a great productivity tool, back in the 1990s! In the HEAT Classic Days.

Nowadays managing your inbox can be a full time job, and those notifications that you thought were great at scope of work or solution design workshops, quickly become annoying, forgotten, and filtered to some folder you’re quite frankly just going to purge when your mail account runs out of storage space.

Notifications are good but Dashboards, Targeted Emails, and Email Summaries are better.

Here are some quick tips and a19 Best Practices to reclaim your email inbox and use email as it was intended to, as a communication tool. Effective communication that is!

  • Limit Escalation Notifications to P1 and P2 only on Breach. For everything else use dashboards or the a19 SLA Status Indicator.
  • Limit Team/Individual Assignment Email Notifications to P1 and P2 only.
  • Limit Customer Emails to Incident/Service Request Creation, Update, and Closure Only.
  • Phase-out incoming email where possible and encourage the use of Self Service. My clients have found a 50% drop of support calls and emails with the a19 Self Service Implementation along with an increase in efficiency by streamlining underlining workflows.
  • Use Dashboards to review important metrics such as Items requiring attention, whether Incidents, Service Requests, Tasks, and so on.
  • Use Email Summaries for situations where Ivanti ISM (HEAT) Users are not able to check their Dashboard Daily. Summaries can be created to show the same metrics as dashboards, on a schedule (every morning, after lunch, and so on) for example, all Tasks assigned requiring acceptance or resolution, overdue tasks, Incidents requiring an update/action, and so on.
  • Use a central email notification template. Managing the OOTB email notifications can be time consuming, often requiring a “simple” change in many business rules, quick actions, and workflows. Use a19’s Central Email Notification template instead.
  • Keep Email Details Simple. There is a tendency to include as many details as possible within an email.  That was a great strategy back at the turn of the century when you only received a handful of emails, but in today’s fast paced world, there are likely going to be many email updates, and those can turn out to be counter productive and confusing as individuals read, act, and reply to emails that are long outdated.   The better approach is to have only essential details in an email message with a link to the current details in the system.  
  • Automate system generated notifications, for example, security certificates expiring, low disk space, outages, to automatically generate service requests in your system and auto-assign the appropriate teams and individuals.

Email was great back in the day. It’s time to face the news and re-evaluate when and how to use Ivanti ISM (HEAT) email notifications to communicate more efficiently and implement the latest best practices.

This podcast is based on the Ivanti HEAT ISM Blog Post of the same title.  Do you have an Ivanti Podcast Topic or Question?  Submit it at podcast.a19consulting.com

Waiting for Resolution Incident Status

A very frequently asked question when implementing Ivanti Service Manager (HEAT) evolves around the “Waiting for Resolution” Incident Status. What is its significance, should it be used, and how does it effect SLAs?

The “Waiting for Resolution” Status is typically used when a break/fix (Incident) has been completed but the ticket hasn’t been updated yet.

For example if there is a P1 Incident that has been resolved, setting the Status to “Waiting for Resolution” may prove to be rather useful to stop the SLA clock while gathering all incident resolution details from the SDAs and Task Owners, without getting penalized.

Remember that the SLA Clock is driven by the Incident Status and Waiting for Resolution pauses the SLA clock.