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‘Pumping Up’ Problem Management

What if Arnold Schwarzenegger came to assist your IT outfit? What would he have to say about your problem management process? “Puny!” It’s easy to emulate the hulking achievements of incident management. Doing visible good deeds will make you seem like a hero in comparison. In his blog, Service Management Journey, Ryan Ogilvie gives an example of how problem management can bulk up to become a more visible and powerful presence in the organization.

Puny Problem Management

Perhaps you’ve been working on some problems which have caused several incidents in the past month. When leadership looks at your progress managing these problems, they don’t say “Wow” or “Gee whiz.” Instead, they just glance nervously at their quarterly budget spreadsheets and you can only guess at what they are thinking.

Now it’s Your Problem

It’s not fair that incident and problem management are judged equally in terms of cost, since they’re not equally visible activities. Arnold might endorse an approach that looked at escalations (what are the top calls), since those would reveal a pattern of error similar to a problem. If dozens of password resets are taking up valuable company time/money because there is no automated service function installed, this could qualify as a potential problem identified by problem management.

Eat Incident Management for Breakfast

Oftentimes, the problem manager simply doesn’t consider certain things as problems out of habit. Addressing top calls could be a way to pump up problem management. Remember, incident management does not add value to the organization. Problem management should eat incident management for breakfast!

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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