One of the basic pieces of any ITIL-based incident management setup is a priority matrix. Impact and Urgency drive a Priority calculation that can then be used to prioritize work and drive SLAs (among other things). ServiceNow comes with these prioritization fields and also includes a default calculation for you. While this setup works fine, it’s not very user-friendly to configure. The priority matrix is completely code-based so admins are really the only ones who can modify it. You also have to know where that calculation takes place (the ‘calculatePriority’ business rule). It’s just not as simple as it should be.

Last week at Knowledge11, I presented at an incident management session. One of the things I talked about was how you can get yourself out of the code by using lookup tables. I’ve written before about Assignment Lookups and in this article I’ll show you how you can use a ‘Priority Lookup’ table to get away from writing and modifying your priority matrix in code and allow non-admin users to be able to manage this matrix for you. Special thanks to Ivan Martez and Martin Wood who came up with this idea!

Incident Priority Lookup

This article is provided for documentation purposes. Although you can easily follow the steps outlined here to implement this solution, it may be easier just to use the ‘Incident Priority Lookup’ update set. The update set is designed to allow you to populate a priority lookup matrix without having to modify any underlying code.

The first step in applying this customization is to create a priority lookup table that can store your priority matrix. The update set includes this table for you (which can be managed from the ‘System Policy -> Priority lookup’ module). Create, write, and delete ACLs are also included to restrict permissions to the ‘admin’ role by default.

Priority Lookup Table
—Table and field settings (along with necessary dictionary changes)—
Table: Priority Lookup
–Audit and ‘update_synch’ attributes included for ‘Priority Lookup’ table
Impact – Choice field (Uses the Incident table and Impact field as choice table and field)
Urgency – Choice field (Uses the Incident table and Urgency field as choice table and field)
Priority – Choice field (Uses the Incident table and Priority field as choice table and field)

Once the ‘Priority lookup’ table is created and populated, you’ll need to modify the ‘calculatePriority’ business rule that is used to return the correct priority value to the incident record as its impact and urgency change. This business rule actually exists out-of-box, and you can find it by navigating to ‘System Definition – Business rules’ and searching for the ‘calculatePriority’ business rule on the ‘Global’ table. Once there, you’ll want to make sure the business rule is set up as follows…

‘calculatePriority’ Business rule
Name: calculatePriority
Table: Global

function calculatePriority(impact,urgency) {
   var pVal = '4';
   //Query the priority lookup table to find the priority based on impact and urgency
   var rec = new GlideRecord('u_priority_lookup');
   rec.addQuery('u_impact', impact);
   rec.addQuery('u_urgency', urgency);
      pVal = rec.u_priority;
   return pVal;

That’s it! Now you can modify the ACLs for that table if necessary so that a process owner has access and can modify the priority matrix without having to touch a single line of code. You can view the update set and installation instructions here…

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