No plan is perfect, so it’s normal to run into issues or roadblocks during a project. When that happens, you need a way to track incidents, collaborate in real-time, and find solutions before little problems become big ones.
The solution? An incident management template.
Incident management is a process that helps you track and respond to issues quickly. It’s a way to document incidents, triage them to the appropriate team members, and find solutions before roadblocks can derail a project or business process. For example, IT teams use incident management to detect and address cybersecurity incidents, while web teams use it to identify and fix system failures and bugs.
An incident management template is a reusable guide that lets you quickly set up an incident management tracker for any project. Instead of creating a tracker from scratch, you can duplicate the template and kickstart your incident management process right away. Creating an incident management template requires a bit of up-front effort, but it can save you valuable time at the start of every future project.
There’s more to incident management than just writing down issues as they occur. In order to come up with solutions quickly, your whole team needs to see how incidents are progressing in real time. However, that type of dynamic tracking isn’t possible with static Excel spreadsheets or PDFs.
A digital incident management template provides a single source of truth for your team. As an incident unfolds, you can update your tracker with new information to show your whole team what changed, who’s working on it, and what they’ve done so far in real time.
When you create an incident tracker in a project management tool instead of a static document, you can:
See all in-progress and resolved incidents in one place.
Record and track incidents in real time.
Share incident status with stakeholders.
Collaborate on incidents in the same place you track them.
Assign owners and deadlines so it’s clear who should address incidents by when.
Update due dates, statuses, and owners when priorities change.
Attach relevant screenshots, documents, or spreadsheets.
Move quickly and still ensure everyone is on the same page.
Report on the number and type of incidents you resolved.
An incident management template can help you quickly identify potential vulnerabilities, conduct a risk assessment, and take necessary corrective actions. To effectively track potential incidents, your digital incident management plan should provide enough context and information so all of your stakeholders can access important information in one place.
Custom fields. Custom fields are the best way to tag, sort, and filter work. Create unique custom fields for any information you need to track—from priority and status to email or phone number. Use custom fields to sort and schedule your to-dos so you know what to work on first. Plus, share custom fields across tasks and projects to ensure consistency across your organization.
Automation. Automate manual work so your team spends less time on the busy work and more time on the tasks you hired them for. Rules in Asana function on a basis of triggers and actions—essentially “when X happens, do Y.” Use Rules to automatically assign work, adjust due dates, set custom fields, notify stakeholders, and more. From ad hoc automations to entire workflows, Rules gives your team time back for skilled and strategic work.
Forms. When someone fills out a Form, it shows up as a new task within an Asana project. By intaking information via a Form, you can standardize the way work gets kicked off, gather the information you need, and ensure no work falls through the cracks. Instead of treating each request as an ad hoc process, create a standardized system and set of questions that everyone has to answer. Or, use branching logic to tailor questions based on a user’s previous answer. Ultimately, Forms help you reduce the time and effort it takes to manage incoming requests so your team can spend more time on the work that matters.
Board View. Board View is a Kanban board-style view that displays your project’s information in columns. Columns are typically organized by work status (like To Do, Doing, and Done) but you can adjust column titles depending on your project needs. Within each column, tasks are displayed as cards, with a variety of associated information including task title, due date, and custom fields. Track work as it moves through stages and get at-a-glance insight into where your project stands.
Jira. Create interactive, connected workflows between technical and business teams to increase visibility around the product development process in real-time—all without leaving Asana. Streamline project collaboration and hand offs. Quickly create Jira issues from within Asana so that work passes seamlessly between business and technical teams at the right time.
GitHub. Automatically sync GitHub pull request status updates to Asana tasks. Track progress on pull requests and improve cross-functional collaboration between technical and non-technical teams, all from within Asana.
Zendesk. With Asana's Zendesk integration, users can quickly and easily create Asana tasks directly from Zendesk tickets. Add context, attach files, and link existing tasks to track work needed to close out the ticket. The integration also provides continuing visibility across both systems, so everyone is kept up to speed regardless of which tool they use.
Salesforce. Remove bottlenecks by enabling sales, customer success, and service teams to communicate directly with their support teams in Asana. Share attachments and create actionable, trackable tasks for pre-sales needs. With Service Cloud, connect your implementation and service teams with supporting teams in Asana to deliver amazing customer experiences.
Any team who responds to incidents can benefit from an incident management template. This usually includes teams that work on information security, IT, web development, human resources, manufacturing, education, workplace safety, and even law enforcement—though that list is by no means exclusive. Even if you’re a project manager at a tech company, you can use an incident management template to respond to roadblocks within projects.
The short answer? You can track any type of incident you want. Keep in mind that the definition of “incident” varies between teams. For example, IT staff handle computer security incidents like firewall or data breaches, while law enforcement officials create incident reports to document crimes within their jurisdiction. Other types of incidents might include malware attacks, authentication errors, site outages, website bugs, manufacturing defects, and customer complaints.
Tracking incidents helps you respond quickly to issues when they occur, so you can prevent roadblocks from derailing a project or process. It also gives you a way to delegate tasks to your incident response team—because as you record incidents, you can assign them to specific team members to investigate. And finally, tracking incidents provides a clear picture of the issues you’re dealing with and how you’re tackling them, so your team and stakeholders are always looped in.
First, determine the key information you need to know about each incident in order to track and respond to it. Then, use that information to create your incident management template—so when an incident occurs, all you need to do is fill in the blanks. For example, if you work on a security team, you’ll use your template to track security breaches. To do that, you need to track the following information: description, assignee, severity, affected systems, date, escalation, and root cause.
When incidents occur, add them to your incident management tracker and record any relevant information. As your team works to address the issue, update the incident accordingly so everyone can see the incident’s status in real time.
An incident management tracker allows your team to see every incident and its status in one place. It provides key information about each incident so your team has the context they need to find a solution. On the other hand, an incident response plan lays out your approach to incident handling—like incident response procedures, incident response policies, and your overarching incident response process.
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