ITSM Incident & Problem Management

IT Service Management

INCIDENT & PROBLEM MANAGMENT WITH FAST & EASY ACCESS TO ALL INFORMATION WITH WORKFLOW AND ROUTING HELPS DRIVE EFFICIENCY

Screenshot of TeamDynamix Problem Management Dashboard for ITSM

According to ITIL, a problem is the root cause of one or more incidents; each has a slightly different critical path. Each of these needs your attention. When you run a service desk, you need to have fast routing capabilities, the ability to group and manage tickets, and a great communication platform.

TeamDynamix ITSM software helps organizations climb up the IT maturity ladder by incorporating ITIL best practices – adopt as much or as little as you desire. Quickly access knowledgebase articles associated with help desk tickets and perform root-cause analysis for full life-cycle support.

Having an ITSM system that identifies the incident or problem is vital, but our system also helps you stay on top of costs, refresh cycles, and contract renewals.

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ITIL BEST PRACTICES ARE EASILY FOLLOWED

incidents - problems - projects: easily manage these in one place

These terms come from ITIL –  IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a library of volumes describing a framework of best practices for delivering IT services.

To begin, we will look at the terms Incident and Major Incident. According to ITIL, “An Incident is an unplanned interruption to a service or the failure of a service component that hasn’t yet impacted service.” To better understand this definition, let’s take a look at a few examples – a key term in this – is the term unplanned. If, for instance, there is a planned or scheduled maintenance on a server, when that server is off-line, that is not considered an incident. Similarly, if there is an outage, it occurs during a time when nobody uses the system in question. Therefore, no actual service time was impacted, which is not considered an incident. If, however, there is a disruption or degradation in the quality of an IT service that is unplanned, you would refer to the instance as an ‘incident.’

How does an incident then become a Major Incident? This looks at impact. Did the disruption or degradation have a significant effect or urgency for the end-users that would require a response time beyond routine incident management timeframes? To test for this, we can ask – did the disruption or degradation have the potential to cause a lack of access to critical systems, or could it be determined that this incident has a significant impact on reputation, legal compliance, regulation, or security related to the organization?

A Problem is simply a collection of incidents. When there are a series of incidents all related to the same underlying issue, these are then bound together and referred to as a Problem. When this happens, the situation is typically viewed as more severe than a single incident. The follow-up procedures will require a more in-depth review cycle with root-cause analysis and appropriate stakeholder visibility. Incidents of themselves are not problems – however, if an incident is severe enough, it can be raised alone to a problem level – this happens when there is a need for a more in-depth review to prevent a likely recurrence.

Problem management rests not on solving the specific issue – which would be the remedy for the incident – but instead focuses more on recurrence and underlying root-cause. This is an investigative procedure that takes place as a preventative measure. Using TeamDynamix, our customers benefit from the unique ability t0 convert incidents and problems to projects — allowing for the allocation of resources, budgets, and timelines.

To begin, we will look at the terms Incident and Major Incident. According to ITIL, “An Incident is an unplanned interruption to a service or the failure of a service component that hasn’t yet impacted service.” To better understand this definition, let’s take a look at a few examples – a key term in this – is the term unplanned. If, for instance, there is a planned or scheduled maintenance on a server, when that server is off-line, that is not considered an incident. Similarly, if there is an outage, it occurs during a time when nobody uses the system in question. Therefore, no actual service time was impacted, which is not considered an incident. If, however, there is a disruption or degradation in the quality of an IT service that is unplanned, you would refer to the instance as an ‘incident.’

INCIDENT OR PROBLEM? UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE.

Ultimately, the difference is in the approach to resolution. When focused on an incident, the goal is to restore service to acceptable levels. Problem management comes after this – and is focused more on how to prevent this from happening again. Incidents have distinct timelines for resolution attached – whereas problem management is more focused on the investigation, and there are no clear timelines.

Incidents are also tied to Service Level Agreements (SLAs), which are in place to ensure that the IT team is held to a set of response time standards. Deviation from these standards should be monitored closely.

In the TeamDynamix ITSM software, customers can enjoy a flexible implementation of the ITIL framework. As these definitions may not exactly suit a specific organization’s processes, these various classifications can be renamed and turned on/off as necessary.

Unique to TeamDynamix, is the ability to also convert an incident or a problem to a project. As the case develops, you can convert to a project, and from there assign budget, timelines and risk grades as required. This gives you a single view of your resources across both tickets and projects – and your end users / technicians can see all of their work in one spot.

WHEN DOES AN INCIDENT BECOME A PROBLEM?

An excellent simple use case for most of these would be that there are fifty Incidents of WiFi being interrupted. Those Incidents are then rolled up into a single Problem ticket about the lack of suitable WiFi infrastructure. A Change (link to change management) ticket could then be opened, and the WiFi infrastructure is later changed/upgraded to be more resilient and reliable. A Release ticket could then be created, and then the organization could then release new documentation and justification for the upgrade in WiFi infrastructure. Also, publish the news that the new WiFi infrastructure should be more consistent and that people should not worry.


Why it is so important to have ITSM & Projects together:
Nothing is as simple as it appears on the surface. Often what may be entered initially as an incident eventually morphs into a problem. This is not uncommon, and most platforms manage this transformation.

However, what happens when the problem should really be managed as a project? Conversion of a problem to a project in TeamDynamix is easy because you can easily convert it and stay right on the same platform.
Learn more about TeamDynamix Project Portfolio Management.

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