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ITIL Problem Management - What works / What doesn't

By TLangham ·
Hello, my name is Tom and I am responsible for the Problem Management solution at my company. Being a new employee / manager trying to implement a new program proved to be a bit more difficult than I had anticipated when I eagerly volunteered to run with this, hoping the brownie points would pay off with my Director. Initial acceptance of the program was slow, simply because it was something different and required engineers to dig deeper than they had the time or desire to do. With a helpful nudge from upper management, the teams soon realized PM wasn???t just a passing fad and resistance was futile.

Overall, the solution works! Applications that were once prone to outages are now stable and engineers that cringed at the site of a meeting invite from me are friendly and joke about needing root cause on why the coffee is so bad at work. There are several key points that I feel directly impact the success or failure of a PM implementation and I wanted to share my insight and experience and also hear about yours.

1. Your knowledge as a Problem Manager of your existing infrastructure. The more you know how things are deployed, the more intelligent and directed your questions will be. Evidently asking ???Why???? like some five year old child over and over again is pretty annoying.

2. Follow up. You can discuss all of the wonderful things you???re going to do to ensure this issue never happens again, but once reality kicks in and people go back to doing their ???real??? jobs, your little tasks fall off the radar.

3. Involve the right people. Having the right people in the root cause discussions will make or break a Problem Management meeting. If you can???t get all the right players in the room, reschedule the meeting until you can.

Over the course of a year or more, I???ve searched the web many times for an active discussion group, best practices, successes and failures, etc. but haven???t found a great source that focuses specifically on Problem Management. So, if you can???t find what you need, you create it!

So, my first question is, ???How are you keeping track of your Problem Management incidents????

We use Remedy. Remedy has a built in Problem Management tab that allows you to track Problems separately from Incidents. The application is not very intuitive, in fact???creating a Problem ticket from an Incident doesn???t even relate the two tickets together. Add to that, reporting out Remedy can be very frustrating for anyone that???s not a SQL query God! And finally, with all of the free form fields in Remedy, pulling an accurate report or trying to correlate similar issues for a ???Known Error Database??? is close to impossible since no two users will describe the same incident the same way.

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im and pm tool

by pstockwell In reply to ITIL Problem Management - ...

We use HP OpenView Service Center. It does allow you to associate IMs with PMs and vice versa, but it is NOT intuitive, often unruly and for us anyway, very slow. There is also no easy way to search, unless you know how to query the DB. In the beginning I find the process and mind set to be more important than the tools for getting to root cause, but in the long run good tools with easy ways to both enter and get at known errors and solutions is what will take this to another level.

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my two cents on your query

by Master2020 In reply to ITIL Problem Management - ...

you can relate the incidents to problems in BMC remedy and also you can relate CI,Change records as well...also extracting reports also easy provided you have to have a defined template. define a template in remedy and then extract the dump. you can try to query using ODBC also.. this way you can extract total dump from BMC remedy database to an Excel report.
Jitendranath Palem
MCTS,ITIL,Oracle Certified, Co author of ITSM books.

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The reality is...

by cmonster In reply to ITIL Problem Management - ...

...that most ITSM products allow you to manage problem management and other service delivery areas very well. The real success or downfall of a service organization is actually based on the underlying culture and execution of the processes which has no dependency on the ITSM product being used.

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