Priority is the most important control factor to be applied in many processes and enables a reasonable scheduling of tasks and resources.


Any physical (e.g. person, computer system, space) or virtual (e.g. time, knowledge, computing power) entity being restricted in its availability and/ or quantity.
An activity, or part of an activity, within a process that requires resources for its execution.
The decision through which resources are assigned to tasks within a specified piece of time.

Priorities in IT Service Management

The restrictive availability of resources is the main driver for prioritization. In IT Service Management, the following can/must be prioritized carefully:

  • Incidents and problems, according to their:
    • impact, defined as the number of affected users, AND
    • urgency, as a quantification of factual or potential SLA violations
  • The fulfillment of customer demands according to an expected quantified value/revenue
  • Changes needed due to:
    • priorities from the underlying incident(s) and/or problem(s) OR
    • priorities of the underlying customer demands