The other day someone asked me if a Problem Record should be opened for all Major Incidents.
Not necessarily – the goal of a Major Incident is still to restore service when a major event occurs that has significant impact on the business. Incident Management is not necessarily looking for a permanent solution but for some level of regained productivity.
If viable and necessary, raising a Problem Record will engage the necessary resources to find the root cause (if not already known) and find a permanent solution to remove the error (if one is available). However, sometimes the root cause of a Major Incident is immediately known and a permanent solution not viable at the time.
Here is a practical example – we have hurricanes in Florida that can cause massive power outages. We know the root cause and the permanent solution is to repair the power lines. This will likely take some time. Do we need a Problem Record to capture that information? Maybe, if there is a need to document the repair of the power lines separate from the implementation of workarounds such as generators and other temporary solutions. Maybe not, if there are other ways of time-stamping the workflow associated with the repair. In this case, it is not the need to identify the root cause that would generate the Problem Record - it would be the need to manage the known error and, ultimately, the permanent solution.