Establish a Rigorous Problem Management Process


Use the ITIL framework to implement both reactive and proactive problem management practices.

Major Business Pain Points

  • Your organization is experiencing high rates of recurring incidents that adversely impact availability and service quality.
  • You are constantly in “firefighting” mode, so are unable to focus on incident prevention and proactive problem management.
  • Recurring incidents are not being analyzed to determine the underlying cause of service issues.
  • Root cause analysis procedures are not established or are not practiced in a consistent and repeatable way, leading to unsuccessful root cause investigations and repeated outages and downtime.

Recommendations

Key Points

  • Focusing on rapid service restoration at the expense of gathering diagnostic data leads to an inability to determine the root cause of service issues, resulting in the same incidents occurring over and over again.
  • Establishing rigorous problem investigation procedures leads to a more stable environment and a higher quality of service.
  • Investing in diagnostic root cause analysis methods and procedures will have the greatest impact on improving problem resolution rates and reductions in recurring incident rates.
  • Leveraging event management alerts will enable IT support staff to be proactive, instead of reactive and will result in the prevention of service-impacting incidents.

Approach

  • Reduction in the number of recurring incidents.
  • Fewer outages and less downtime.
  • Problem resolutions are faster and more successful.
  • Improved service quality and availability of critical IT systems.
  • Shift from reactive to proactive problem management.

Methodology and Tools

1. Make the case for problem management

Identify the problem management objectives and gain critical stakeholder support by articulating the benefits.

  • Storyboard: Establish a Rigorous Problem Management Process
  • Problem Management Stakeholder Buy-in Template

2. Assess current state and determine goal state

Review current problem management practices and select a goal state that supports the envisioned process goals.

  • Current Maturity and Gap Analysis Assessment Tool

3. Enhance the service desk and incident management processes

Set up the problem management process for success by enhancing critical input sources.

4. Set the foundation for problem management

Develop a standardized procedure for the problem management process.

  • Problem Management SOP

5. Develop the problem management process

Review the current problem management practices and verify the goal state supports the envisioned process goals (Fundamental, Comprehensive, Proactive).

  • Problem Management Causal RCA Template
  • Problem Management Diagnostic RCA Template
  • Problem Management Proactive RCA Template

6. Manage successful problem resolutions

Identify the course of action following root cause determination and coordinate with change and release management.

7. Implement a problem management process and measure its performance

Develop an action plan for the process implementation and monitor the process using metrics.

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