Mission and Scope of Problem Management

Problem Management′s mission is very simple and intuitive. It is about minizing the adverse effects on the business of Incidents and Problems caused by errors in the infrastructure. Simple example of an error in the infrastructure can be a router error which doesn′t transmit packages properly. If it′s kind of BGP router adverse effects on the business will be obviously huge. That′s why mission of Problem Management is to also proactively prevent the occurrence of Incidents, Problems and Errors - not just pasivly wait when something wrong is going on.

Scope of Problem Management

  1.  Pro-active Problem Management - tries to identify problems before they occur or at least on their early stages. Pro-active Problem Management is also responsible for applying workarounds to temporary fix the problem and wait for resolution by appropriate service group.
  2.  Entry to IT Service Continuity Management - Problem Management is a good source of data for Service Continuity.
  3.  Maintaining relationships with third party suppliers - as mentioned above sometimes different service groups are involved in resolving problems. Very oftern 3rd support level is located in the 3rd company, so it is Problem Management′s responsibility to manage people and lialison with 3rd party organization
  4. IT problems and incidents (especially those recurring ones) that affect IT services and have impact on the business very ofter as a result of one ore more incidents.

source: ITIL Resources
published: 2008-11-18 01:24:04


Proactive Problem Management

Proactive Problem Management is included in the Scope of Problem Management. It covers all activities which helps indentify and resolve problems before incidents come up. The activities can be divided into two groups:

  1.  First group of such activities can organization related. Each organization has it′s own methods to identify problems. These can be e.g. feed-back information to/from appropriate people involved in particular work. Another method can be weekly one to one meeting where manager and employee discuss current work status, potential issues or possible problems.
  2.  Second group of proactive activities can be analysis like. e.g Trend Analysis, Pain Value Analysis or Ishikawa Diagram. These methods will be discussed in more detail in orhere sections in the Problem Management tab. Trend Analysis is the ability to analyze data to spot a series of linked events or consequences. Seeing the trend a manager or another person able to make a decision can act upon that trend.

Proactive Problem Management also targets preventive actions throughout supplying workarounds or procedures to people within the organization (or even 3rd parties) to prevent further incidents from occurring.

 source: ITIL Resources
published: 2008-11-05 02:23:32


The Pain Value Analysis

This method is very useful to preset which areas of the IT infrastructure are most painfull and which of them can cause the biggest pain when an error occur in a particular area. The pain value is nothing else then number of incidents multiplied by duration and severity multiplied by weighting factor. The rule is as follows:

Pain value = (No. of incidents) * (duration) * (severity) * (weighting factor)

In the Pain Value Analysis the calculation is made as shown (for severity it can be priority and in most cases it′s necessary to revers this e.g. if you have priority of 1-5 with 1 being the most severe impact then you will need to multiply this incidents by 5, low impact incidents i.e. severity 5 will need to be multiplied by 1)

 In a grid environment like e.g. global organization having its departmets all over the world the core factor to do the business will be communication and data flows between departments. On the picture above you can see the most painful might be lack of connectivity in cellular phones and / or VOIP network. People in the organization probably use a lot of mobile phones and - because it is a global company that focuses on cost minimizing - Voice Over IP networks. Router are not so visible to end users that′s why many of them don′t even know there are such devices but anyway, they are still very crutial for the organization.

source: ITIL Resources
published: 2008-11-12 09:01:07