Friday, October 19, 2012

Stop Sulking and Start Solving Stupid: An ITIL Problem Management Perspective

Life is too short to spend too much time HATING.  Your work, your boss, your nagging wife, your in-laws, the traffic...but I would be a hypocrite to say that I don't feel hate.  The thing is, we have the option to decide how much of our time we sulk in the corner and stoke the flame of our hatred.  We have to accept the fact that life can never be perfect and there will always be that incessant bump on the road. What we need to do is MANAGE them.  Follow the 90/10 Principle---10% of life is what happens to you and 90% is how you react from it.

Last week there was this talk about the ITIL Problem Management.  Apparently, it was something that we should have known about but didn't.  For a department coming from a re-organization, the last thing you need is a role delineation catastrophe---which was what happened!  That's the problem when you ASS-U-ME too much!  Anyway, nuff said about that topic (less time hating, right?).  

Problems occur all the time and often time when least expect them.  So what does ITIL Problem Management tells us? First, we need to distinguish between a PROBLEM and an INCIDENT.  According to ITIL, an incident is defined as “an unplanned interruption to an IT service or in the quality of an IT service” while a problem is "an unknown cause of one or more incidents."  The reason why we needed to differentiate the two is because you need two groups to mitigate their effect to the company.  

Incident Management aims to restore normal services as soon as possible.  The key phrase here is AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  Hence, there is a need to define a service level agreement (SLA) to define a reasonable and acceptable support criteria.  Problem Management on the other hand aims to prevent problems and their resulting incidents from happening.  This is part of the second level support where the group handling it, supported by empirical data, determines the root cause of problems and implements the necessary process change to mitigate them.  As a corollary to Problem Management are Change Management and Release Management to make sure that such changes does not affect the normal flow of business.

Quite straight forward, right?  However, in order for this process to be effective, it is not enough to have a reliable technical group but they must also have the analytical competency and the business sense to properly manage it.  Not having the right people to do the job will only lead to customer complaint and business disruption.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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