For those that are unaware, the purpose of problem management is the reduction of incidents in amount and severity that impact a business. It should not be a place for incidents to rot in search of a root cause. Problem management should help to drive service management from a reactive to a more proactive place. This statement would suggest that any team which is experiencing incidents should also logically have some level of problem management, right?
By sticking with the same viewpoint on problems, we may be inadvertently focussing our efforts on issues which have no solution, root cause and may be low on the priority scale when it comes to business impact. While it’s good that they are looking at these issue at all, they have low value in terms of what really matters to our business.
The first thing we as practitioners need to do is stop thinking like IT. Not all incidents are going to require a technical resolution. Take a closer look at the top escalations to the service desk and see what drives them in the first place. Here is an example of some typical escalations:
- Application errors
- Password resets
- Hardware failure
- Network issues
While some of these are still technical in nature, some things such as questions and password resets are everyday common place in some organizations. While your company may not have this issue to deal with there are still may that come into work on a Monday morning faced with the repetitive task of addressing the forgotten password. This costly use of resources could be resolved with an automated reset tool of some sort. The problem analysis would support the cost benefit to implementing a tool or the effort to automate this activity versus your service desk resources spending their valuable time to reset a password.