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Understanding Problem Management

Time to ImproveProblem Management is a key process in the Service Operation phase of the Service Lifecycle.  Problem Management is responsible for managing the lifecycle of all Problems.  In ITIL®, a Problem is defined as “the unknown cause of one or more Incidents.” This process entails activities and analyses to identify the cause of Incidents, establish suitable resolutions and workarounds, and implement the proper resolution through the appropriate procedures, including Change Management. Problem Management works closely with Knowledge Management to maintain information about Problems and workarounds.

Objectives of the Problem Management process include:

  • Detecting and preventing Problems and resulting Incidents from occurring
  • Reducing and eliminating recurring Incidents
  • Diminishing the effect of Incidents that cannot be prevented

Problem Management is critical in reducing the number and impact of Incidents over time.  Once a Problem has been resolved, information regarding the Problem, workaround (if any), and resolution are documented.  In this respect, Problem Management has a strong interface with Knowledge Management. If this Problem occurs again, IT personnel are able to use this previous information to restore normal service operations quickly.  Over time, this information is used to identify a permanent solution(s) so as to minimize the Problem. This results in less downtime and less disruption to services and business operations.

Benefits of Problem Management include:

  • IT services have a higher availability
  • IT personnel are more effective and efficient
  • Less expenses are spent on workarounds that do not work
  • Less costs are involved with repeat Incidents

To learn more about Problem Management, enroll in the ITIL V3 Service Operation course or the ITIL V3 Operational Support and Analysis course at Ashford Global IT!

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Mary is a leading trainer in Microsoft® and Business Applications.

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