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ITIL :: View topic - Problem/Incident Ratio
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Problem/Incident Ratio

 
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TedC
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Joined: Mar 26, 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:26 pm    Post subject: Problem/Incident Ratio Reply with quote

Has anybody considered whether it is fair, or correct, to judge the 'maturity' of a business/service under ITIL by the ratio of Problems to Incidents.

eg.

Startup: IM/PM =0%
Mature: IM/PM =95%

I come from a telco background and the traditional telecom startup would have highly skilled engineers (Tier 3s) performing ALL tasks manually ie Problem Management is used for everything. There's usually no Change Management or KEDB in place, perpetuating the need for even more T3 engineers - all of course holding the knowledge in their heads, making themselves indispensable, prolonging the MTTR, etc.
In this case the IM/PM ratio is approx. 0%.


However, once a knowledge database and IM processes emerge, usually enforced as a result of the overwhelming demand from non-scalable operational processes, the IM/PM ratio increases. Ultimately, I'd guess it would be fair to estimate a ratio of 95% (IM/PM) would represent a mature service/ITIL deployment. 100% would be Nirvana !


There's a fair few empirical assumptions made here, but I think/hope the principal is valid ?!

It's been a few years since my formal ITILv3 foundation training, so apologies for the loose use of terms, or if this has already been addressed within ITIL.
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3315
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TedC

Incidents and problems are not really related

if a company has a high number of incidents or a high number of problems means that a company has a high number of incidents or a high number of problems
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Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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asrilrm
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Joined: Oct 07, 2007
Posts: 441
Location: Jakarta, INA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TedC,

As far as I know, ITIL never mentioned anything about maturity.
I've never heard this IM/PM ratio. How do you read?
If you say IM/PM=95%, how do you describe it?
Is it 100 problems should emerged from 95 incidents?

I agree that incidents are not directly related with problems.
Remember, in the foundation it was told that an incident would never become problem.
A recurring incident would indicate that there is a problem but it is not a problem itself.
An incident that the underlying cause is unknown might trigger problem management but the incident itself is also not a problem.
So the point is that I don't understand why judging service maturity by IM/PM ratio?
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3315
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And as a follow up

Most HD/SD /NOC bulk service requests/queries/incidents w/in the same tool

If the HD is supporting 10000 users, i would expect 1 question from each user at least once -

This would give you a number of incidents - the numbers would rise / fall on the service provided, the user skill level, how much is self help / automated etc. how much is from NMS tools as opposed to staff etc

Problems can be 0 to infinity.

If you use a stable platform (unix, wintel etc) and a stable app suite, you dont get a lot of problems (reactively) ..If you have proactive pm well sorted then the # of problems may be small
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Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Diarmid
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Joined: Mar 04, 2008
Posts: 1884
Location: Newcastle-under-Lyme

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought we battered this to death a few weeks ago. but it turns out we looked at the (only slightly) different question of the ratio of effort expended between problem and incident resolution (Incident vs Problem effort split) and it was in November.

Doesn't time fly!

Let me add a few points:

1. Definitions of what constitutes an incident vary wildly.
2. Definitions of what constitute a problem vary wildly and I doubt there is a meaningful relationship between the two wildlies.
3. Problems are (should be) only raised and investigated when the potential benefits justify the cost, but incidents are things that happen.
4.Problems can and should be raised in circumstances where there have been no incidents.
5. The number of incidents that do not indicate a meaningful problem will be vastly different in different service environments.
6 The occurrence of incidents can vary with season (weather, fiscal calendar, holiday periods, business booms and lulls etc. ad infinitum et ad nauseam), introduction of new services, introduction of new staff, introduction of new service providers, changes in top management climate (policy, strategy, whim), introduction of new legislation ...........
7. Problems lurk. ("I see no ships")


By the by, a 100% ratio would be Nirvana only if the number of incidents was very low. Otherwise it might be that your Problem Management function isn't functioning.
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"Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
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