[Tutorials] How to create and apply response plans to tickets using IBM Tivoli Service Request Manager
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1. About this tutorial
It can be quite complex to manage a high number of requests in a Help Desk environment, Delays in responses may have a negative impact on business and cause user dissatisfaction. The SRM Response Plan is an escalation engine and integrated workflow that helps prioritize the tickets automatically by applying actions to accelerate their closing.
A response plan can be applied in several service requests or work orders with similar characteristics. Thus, repetitive tasks can be eliminated. Depending on how the response plan was set, the following actions can be performed:
This tutorial demonstrates how to create and implement a Response Plan to facilitate the processing of service requests created through Service Request Manager.
This tutorial is based on Service Request Manager 7.2.1 However, the Response Plan functionality is also available in Service Request Manager 7.2.
The user required to execute this tutorial must have administrative privileges in order to create escalations, actions, communication templates, job plans and response plans.
2. Executing this tutorial
Step 1: Creating a response plan
Login to Maximo and navigate to the Response Plan application: Go to → Service Level → Response Plan.
Image 1 - Response Plan page
The application has seven tabs (Image 1): List, Response Plan, Conditions, Locations, Assets, Configuration Items and Response Actions. Except by the List tab, all the other tabs contain fields to define how the response plan will be implemented and what actions will be taken.
To create a new response plan, click on the “New Response Plan” icon.
Enter a name and description (Image 2):
Image 2 - New response plan
Every new response plan is created as draft and must be changed to active when completed.
Define the application that this new Response Plan will be applied to and rank it.
Image 3 - Define application and ranking
A response plan can be applied to an incident, work order or a problem. Therefore, you can create a response plan specific to each type of ticket you want to work. In the example above, this response plan will be applied to a service request.
Step 2: Criteria definition
Navigate to the Conditions tab to set the response plan criteria.
A response plan may be applied according to the ticket classification. In the example below (Figure 4), this response plan will be applied to tickets that are classified as 'Printer / Low Toner'.
Image 4 - Conditions
The response plan can also be applied according to a service group (Image 5):
Image 5 - Service Group
A query can be created in order to have a more accurate set of tickets that a particular response plan can be applied. The SQL Expression Builder may aid in the query creation. In the example in image 6, the response plan will be applied only if the ticket was originated from a specific offering. In this case the query would be: PMSCITEMNUM = 'PMSC_2007A'.
Image 6 - Additonal criteria
The asset used in the ticket may also be used as criteria to apply a specific response plan. Considering the example above, the toner replacement procedure may vary depending on the printer model. In this case the asset criterion supersedes the classification. Therefore the asset value will define the Response Plan to be applied.
Navigate to the Assets tab and specify an asset as shown in the image 7. The same thing can be done in the Configuration Items tab.
Image 7 - Assets
Step 3: Actions definition
After defining the criteria of the response plan, we define what actions may be taken, for example, assign the ticket to a owner group. To do this click on the Response Plan tab and fill in the field 'Assign Owner' or 'Assign Owner Group'. When the response plan is applied to an incident, as shown in Figure 8, it should be assigned to a group or person.
Image 8 - Assign owner
You can create generic response plans to assign tickets to specific groups based on the ticket classification, such as telephony, network, hardware, and so on. Therefore, you do not need to analyze and manually transfer the ticket to the owner group. That would be done automatically by an escalation (Image 9).
Image 9 - Incident assigned to an owner after applying a response plan
Response plans may also apply actions, work orders and send notifications. If an incident is opened for password change, based on criteria such as classification or source of the ticket, you can apply an existing solution with steps on how to change the password.
As a prerequisite, you need active solutions to be available. Create a response plan, define the criteria and select a solution (Image 10):
Image 10 - Response plan with solution
You can see the solution in the Solutions Details tab from the ticket that had the response plan applied. (Image 11).
Image 11 - Apply response plan with solution
The Response Plan can also be applied with a Ticket Template or with a Job Plan.
Image 12 - Response Plan with Ticket Template
Go to the Response Actions tab to set other actions such as sending notifications or closing tickets automatically.
In the example of the response plan with a solution, one might argue that there is no reason to keep the ticket opened. You can associate an action to close the ticket and send a survey to the user as shown in Image 13.
Image 13 - Response plan with notification and survey
To add a notification it is necessary to create a communication template first: Go to → System Configuration → Platform Configuration → Communication Templates and setup a SMTP server to send e-mails.
Go to → System Configuration → Platform Configuration menu and create Actions and Escalations for more options to your Response Plan.
3. How to apply a response plan
The response plan can be applied in three ways:
3.1 Apply a response plan to a ticket
Open a ticket (service request, problem or incident) and from the Select Action menu select Apply Response Plan (Image 14).
Image 14 - Apply Response Plan
3.2 Apply response plan automatically
You can create an escalation to apply response plans automatically to tickets. The following example shows an escalation that runs every 5 minutes, applying a response plan when a service request is classified as “Printer / Toner Low”.
Image 15 - Escalation
3.3 Response plan automatically applied when the cart is submitted (Offering Catalog)
When creating an offering, check the option "Invoke Apply Response Plans Workflow Only?". Thus, when the user submits the cart with the offering, a response plan will be automatically applied to the service request.
Image 16 - Offering