About Escalation Rules

Information

Your system can automatically escalate and take action in issues that remain open or idle for too long through Escalation Rules. Escalation Rules help ensure Assignees and Submitters never neglect or abandon their issues, especially when they are used in conjunction with the Substatus Rules and Email Notifications configuration options.

There is no limit to the number of Escalation Rules you can create. Each of these Rules may have several parts to it, including:

  • Time Interval— Days, Hours and/or Minutes from Submit or Last Activity
  • Conditions— other criteria that must be met, such as:
    • Priority
    • Substatus
    • System Clock Status (Paused, Not Paused)
    • Issue Type
    • Subtype (1 through 4)
    • Organization
    • Department
    • Location
    • Project
    • Number of previous escalations
    • Assignment Status (Assigned, Not Assigned)
    • Assigned To
    • Target Date passing
    • Required By Date passing
  • Actions— other system-generated events that occur along with escalation, such as:
    • Updating the Assigned To
    • Updating the Priority
    • Updating the Substatus
    • Adding a (Public or Private) Note
    • Distributing (additional) Email Notifications
    • Closing the issue
  • Process Order— the Rule’s place among other Rules in the processing queue

In addition to Time Interval, the rate at which Escalations occur is also based on the Issue Escalations scheduled task on your Web server. Escalation can never occur at an interval greater than the current scheduled task rate. For example, the Escalations task is generally set during installation to a default rate of every 15 minutes. If you define a Rule with a Time Interval of 5 minutes, you will need to increase the task rate to at least every 5 minutes or this Rule will still only be processed at 15-minute intervals.

Every time the Escalations task runs, it will process all Rules, starting with your Process Order = 1 Rule. This means an issue may escalate many times during its life cycle, based on the same Rule and/or different Rules that apply as its values change. However, the issue will only escalate against one rule each time the task runs, so the first rule that applies based on process order.

To minimize redundancy, try to use Conditions whenever possible and Actions that change at least one Conditional value so most Rules never apply more than once.

Example:

Rule A states:

IF (Time Interval) = “2 Hours” after “Time Submitted”

THEN ESCALATE

AND (Actions) Send Notification To = “Stan Sitwell”

ANY issues that stay open for longer than 2 hours after Submit will be escalated by this rule. As long as these issues remain open—the same Rule will continue to apply every time the Job runs. Each time, Stan (and any Email Distribution List Members with notify On Escalate) will also be sent another notification.

Rule B states:

IF (Time Interval) = “5 Days” after “Last Activity”

AND (Conditions) Issue Type = “Service” AND Subtype 1 = “Request” AND Substatus = “Pending User Response-1st Attempt”

THEN ESCALATE

AND (Actions) Add Note = “We have not heard back from you on this service request. Please let us know what day and time we can perform your service.” AND Set Substatus To = “Pending User Response-2nd Attempt”

ONLY issues that stay open for longer than 5 days without any activity that also have this particular Issue Type, Subtype and Substatus will be escalated by this rule. As long as these issues remain open and their Substatus does not change back to Pending User Response-1st Attempt — the same Rule will not apply again. The Submitter will not receive this particular “friendly reminder” again.

In addition, consider your Process Orders carefully. If Rules have similar criteria and may ever be applicable at the same time—BUT one of those Rules changes a conditional value so the other Rules no longer apply—that Rule should be processed before any other Rules with similar criteria. For example, Issue #12345 is currently a High Priority issue that has had no activity for almost 4 hours…

Rule X states:

IF “2 hours” after “Last Activity”

AND Priority = “High”

THEN ESCALATE

AND Send Notification To = “Steve Anderson”

… Process Order = 17

Each time the Escalations Job has run since the 2 hours after last activity mark, this rule has continually escalated Issue #12345 and notified Steve.

Rule Y states:

IF “4 hours” after “Last Activity”

AND Priority = “High”

THEN ESCALATE

AND Update Priority To = “Critical” AND Update Assigned To = “Michael Bluth” AND Send Notification To = “Steve Anderson”

… Process Order = 16

When the Escalations task runs at the 4 hours after last activity mark, this rule will make any further Escalations of Issue #12345 by Rule X obsolete. So Rule Y has been placed before Rule X in the processing queue using their Process Orders.

All users can view Escalation-related data in issues and reports.


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Adding Escalation Rules

Steps:

  1. Go to Administration > Business Rules > Escalation Rules > Add.
  2. Enter the number of Days, Hours and/or Minutes and from which issue event (Time Submitted or Last Activity) this new Rule is to take effect.

Last Activity is triggered only by the following events: Issue Assigned, Next Actioned or Edited; Note Added or Edited; and Task Added, Edited, Deleted or Completed.

  1. (Optional) Define any additional conditions that apply.

  1. (Optional) If you want any other actions to occur based on this Escalation Rule, define those actions.

  1. Enter Escalation Rule Name and Process Order for your new Rule.

  1. Click Save.

A confirmation message will appear when this process is complete.

(Optional) Add members to this Escalation Rule’s Email Distribution List using the Email Distribution List for Rule: popup window that opens. After all list members have been added, edit each name and check the email option, then close this popup window.


 

Editing Escalation Rules

Steps:

  1. Go to Administration > Business Rules > Escalation Rules > List All.
  2. Click the edit link next to the Escalation Rule you are modifying.

  1. (Optional) Before making any other changes on the Edit Escalation Rule screen, use the View/Maintain Distribution List link to add or change member settings on this Escalation Rule’s Email Distribution List.
  2. Make your changes on the Edit Escalation Rule screen.
  3. Click Save.

A confirmation message will appear when this process is complete.


 

Deleting Escalation Rules

Best Practice:  Always deactivate rather than delete existing items within your system.  In this case, you can simply uncheck the box next to Active at the bottom of an escalation rule.

Steps:

  1. Go to Administration > Business Rules > Escalation Rules > List All.
  2. Click del next to the Escalation Rule you are deleting.
  3. Click OK when prompted to confirm.

A confirmation message will appear when this process is complete.