Skip to main content

Incidents and Problems

 An incident is an unplanned interruption to an IT service or reduction in the quality of an IT service and is strictly a reactive process. A problem on the other hand represents a different perspective of an incident by diagnosing its underlying root cause, which might also be the cause of multiple other incidents. Incidents however do not always grow up to become problems. 

While Incident Management activities focus on restoring services to normal operations as quickly as possible, Problem Management activities determine the root cause, find the most effective and efficient permanent resolution and ultimately prevent the incident from happening again.  

Problem Management can be both reactive and proactive. Proactive Problem Management identifies weaknesses in the environment before actual incidents occur.  These can then be exploited as improvement opportunities.  Reactive Problem Management addresses problems that were identified from one or more incidents.    The policies for raising a problem from incident trends can be unique to the individual organization. Some common conditions that may engage Problem Management can include
  • Trend analysis of recorded incidents detects an underlying problem may exist.
  • A notification from a supplier that a problem exists that needs to be resolved.
  • Other IT functions identify that a problem condition exists.
  • A major incident has occurred where problem management activities need to be undertaken to identify the root cause.
  • The service desk may have resolved an incident but cannot determine the definitive root cause and suspects that it may to reoccur.
  •  Incident management cannot match an incident to existing problems and known errors.
  • Analysis of an incident by a support group uncovers the evidence that an underlying problem exists, or is likely to exist.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner?

I was recently asked to clarify the roles of the Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner and wanted to share this with you. Roles and Responsibilities: Process Owner – this individual is “Accountable” for the process. They are the goto person and represent this process across the entire organization. They will ensure that the process is clearly defined, designed and documented. They will ensure that the process has a set of Policies for governance. Example: The process owner for Incident management will ensure that all of the activities to Identify, Record, Categorize, Investigate, … all the way to closing the incident are defined and documented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs, and deliverables.  An example of a policy in could be… “All Incidents must be logged”. Policies are rules that govern the process. Process Owner ensures that all Process activities, (what to do), Procedures (details on how to perform the activity) and th

How Does ITIL Help in the Management of the SDLC?

I was recently asked how ITIL helps in the management of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).  Simply put... SDLC is a Lifecycle approach to produce the software or the "product".  ITIL is a Lifecycle approach that focuses on the "service". I’ll start by reviewing both SDLC and ITIL Lifecycles and then summarize: SDLC  -  The intent of an SDLC process is to help produce a product that is cost-efficient, effective and of high quality. Once an application is created, the SDLC maps the proper deployment of the software into the live environment. The SDLC methodology usually contains the following stages: Analysis (requirements and design), construction, testing, release and maintenance.  The focus here is on the Software.  Most organizations will use an Agile or Waterfall approach to implement the software through the Software Development Lifecycle. ITIL  -  is a best practice for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the

Four Service Characteristics

Recently I came across several articles by researchers and experts that laid out definitions and characteristics of services. ITIL provides us with a definition that can help drive the creation of value-laden services: A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. An area that ITIL is not so clear is in terms of service characteristics. Several researchers and experts put forth that services have four basic characteristics (IHIP): ·          Intangibility—Services are the results of actions not things. They have no physical presence and represent a logical set of elements. One way to think of service is “work done for others.” ·          Heterogeneity—Also known as “variability”; services are unique items because of the mechanisms used to deliver services-that is people. Because the people element adds variability, the service is variable. This holds true especially for the v