Incident ManagementIT GovernanceProblem Management

Problem Management Is Not the Incident Graveyard

Where do ideas go to die? Well, it is not problem management! Problem management is a place for problematic projects to be analyzed and given the extra oomph they need to be successful. In a post for Service Management Journey, Ryan Ogilvie examines this misused asset.

Reframe Your Perspective

The root of problem management’s troubles is that organizations too often are looking at it from the wrong angle. Most of the time, it is viewed as a problem from IT or incident management, when in actuality it should be looked at from the context of a business value. This focus on problems from the same viewpoint could actually be harmful, because they may not have a solution and you may be wasting your efforts. Yes, these matters are important and should be looked at, but they are not really a priority and do not have an immense impact on business value.

Organizations have an inclination to direct their focus towards issues of low impact. The resourcing to resolve this type of problem will of course be low and because of this, problem management appears to be delivering low results. Not all issues require a technical solution.

Some typical problems that arise at the service desk include:

  1. Application errors
  2. Password resets
  3. Questions
  4. Hardware failures
  5. Network issues

Some of these issues do require technical solutions, but something like a password reset does not. Resources do not need to be allocated to something that could be resolved with simple reset automation tools. Another area with a similar easy fix is questions. People Google everything and this inclination can be monopolized for the company’s benefit. Set up some metric measuring software to see what people are looking up.

Problem management is ultimately about balance: deciphering the low impact issues from those with monumental implications. You can read the original post here:

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