ITIL defines an "Incident" as any unplanned interruption to an IT service or reduction in the quality of an IT service and ITIL defines a "Problem" as the cause of one or more of those incidents. The primary objectives of taking on Problem Management are to prevent problems and resulting incidents from happening, to eliminate recurring incidents and to minimize the impact of incidents that cannot be prevented. Problem Management is dependent on a mature Incident Management process. Although it is possible to start early with Problem Management, this process is highly integrated with Incident Management. So, it is best to implement Problem Management after you have implemented Incident Management. You will require incident data, impact, and frequency and incident trends to help identify relevant and worthwhile Problems to work on eventually. It is often possible to start with Problem Management activities, without having a formally defined Problem Management process. Rather than getting bogged down with the activities related to process design, implementation of supporting tools and documentation at the start of the project, consider going for quick wins. You could start with actions like the following: * Identify the top 5 to 10 incidents
* If needed, provide guidance to incident management/service desk on how to record - incidents * Find some problems and solve them!
A key activity in Problem Management is to look for the root cause of one or more incidents and recommend a permanent fix. Choosing the right people for the job is crucial. Analytical people with the right technology background are best given such roles. This need not be a permanent role. If fact, most organisation do not assign someone to be "THE Problem Manager". Problem managers are best identified and assigned based on the problem(s) at hand. Sometimes, a task force could be appointed, instead of a single person. Besides technical skills, the assigned Problem Manager(s) would preferably have...
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