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A structured approach to problem solving

tipsSome people like to problem solve; it's a good way of testing your deductive logic, prove your intelligence, and sometimes just have plain old fun. Simon Morris explains that there is nothing wrong with being creative with problem solving, except that it's not a very reliable process. Enter service management, which attempts to reduce all actions to the most structured, repeatable level. While this method generally produces more expected results, it can be seen as a negative aspect of the job by some of the more creative problem solvers:

IT Service Management has gone a long way towards making practices standardised and repeatable. For example you don't want individual creative input when executing standard changes or fulfilling requests. Standard Operating Procedures and process manuals means that we expect our engineers and practioners to behave in predictable ways. Those reluctant to participate in these newly implemented processes might even complain all the fun has gone out of IT support. 

Morris lists the Kepner Tregoe Problem Analysis process as a way of isolating problems and determining root causes. While this might make the creative problem solvers above flinch, it's an effective way to repeatedly determine the problem and its cause. The article goes on with a high level overview of the steps taken to implement the KT-PA, a great way to determine how routine your problem solving is within your own organization.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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