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Is It Time to Rethink Problem Management?

Joe the IT Guy thinks that when it comes to problem management, too many people are talking the talk and not walking the walk. ITIL offers some guidance on the subject, but Joe craves even more. He writes about the… problem of problem management at his blog.

Too Many Problems, Man

Joe finds that not enough organizations understand what problem management is, at least in the way that they understand what the service desk or incident management is, and so no funding is provided toward it as a result. It could be that the best practices themselves regarding problem management are to blame for problem management’s ambiguity. Two current systems for addressing problem management are the “automatic system,” informed by knowledge and experience and best used to address simple problems, and the “effortful system,” used to consciously think through an issue and best used for complex problems where there is no precedent to follow. When you try to use one system to solve a problem that would be best suited to the other system, that will likely cause additional problems.

Joe then segues into addressing the Kepner-Tregoe problem management technique, which, as noted by John Custy, could actually be used more generally as a decision-making technique. It occurs in four steps:

Situation appraisal – used to clarify the situation, outline concerns, and choose a direction
Problem analysis
– where the problem is defined and its root cause determined
Decision analysis
– where alternatives are identified and a risk analysis conducted for each
Potential problem analysis
– where the best of the alternatives is further scrutinized against potential problems and negative consequences and actions are proposed to minimize the risk

Thus, perhaps it is time to reinterpret the nature of problem management, and maybe start approaching our so-called problems from a different perspective. Joe notes that perhaps Kepner-Tregoe could actually be used to help do existing processes better. What do you think?

You can read the original post here:

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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