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ITIL :: View topic - Problem Weighting Matrix
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Problem Weighting Matrix

 
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handlingit
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:41 pm    Post subject: Problem Weighting Matrix Reply with quote

At the request of the CIO I will shortly be implementing a Problem Management board within my organisation which will comprise of Business Service Managers who engage with the different brands in our organisation, the Service Desk Manager, Incident Manager and will invite others as appropriate. We will review all Problems bought forward by these individuals with the view to agreeing which ones are investigated first.

For efficiency, fairness and clarity I want to create a weighting matrix which will be used to asses priority of Problems. Has anyone on the forum created a weighting matrix for Problems or some sort of priority scoring framework? Would be interested to see an example of one.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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BorisBear
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Problem Weighting Matrix Reply with quote

handlingit wrote:
At the request of the CIO I will shortly be implementing a Problem Management board within my organisation which will comprise of Business Service Managers who engage with the different brands in our organisation, the Service Desk Manager, Incident Manager and will invite others as appropriate. We will review all Problems bought forward by these individuals with the view to agreeing which ones are investigated first.

For efficiency, fairness and clarity I want to create a weighting matrix which will be used to asses priority of Problems. Has anyone on the forum created a weighting matrix for Problems or some sort of priority scoring framework? Would be interested to see an example of one.

Any advice would be appreciated.



I am sure Diarmid would be happy to help you pull one together for a reasonable market rate
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Diarmid
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too true, Boris. And it would get me off the streets. My email is always open.
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DanA
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the purpose of the forum was for an open exchange of ideas?

To the original poster, the only advice from me is to look at it from Risk and Impact viewpoints and get more granular from there.
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Diarmid
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No DanA. I'm simply marketing myself. That's why I always say so little.

It's incidents that have impacts, not problems. What we need here is potential business costs and benefits. But really the only way to design such a matrix is by reference to what you want to use it for in specific detail.
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DanA
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh, a marketing strategy. Say little, create the enigma. Got it.

It's semantics. Problems are the unknown cause of incidents. Not solving them causes incidents, which causes impacts.

Setting up a risk/impact matrix to help understand problem priority can be done and it's helpful to understand where your scope should be and what to tackle. Most "ITIL compliant" tools have a risk/impact or urgency/impact fields for this purpose.
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Diarmid
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not semantics.

But this is: resolving (not solving!) problems removes the potential for incidents. If I want to be really pedantic, incidents are caused by the intersection of problems and events and/or actions.

And this isn't: the impact of a future incident cannot be predicted unless you are also predicting when it will occur, how long it will take to detect and what work affected users are doing at the time it occurs, among other things.

And this isn't: Problems are the underlying features of a system that have the potential to cause incidents or deterioration of service provision. There is no need for an incident to occur in order to determine that a problem exists.

If you want to play about with impact from problems, then you have got to look at how likely a future (often not fully predictable) incident is to occur at, for example, the worst time for it to happen. It soon gets very complex and you might find you need someone full time drawing up probability assessments.

Putting "ITIL compliant" in quotation marks does not get away from the fact that there is no such thing as ITIL compliance, and so I will take you to mean "most ITSM support tools" (Are there many out their that do not tip their hat to ITIL?). Don't you think there is a need to consider risk, impact and urgency all at the same time - or to recognize that a decent risk analysis will take into account impact and urgency as well as likelihood?

To return to the original question, a weighting matrix (or formula, or whatever) might also want to take into account the quality, cost and durability of any workaround identified for a particular problem. Sometimes the potential for loss can be held in check by a workaround and that should reduce the urgency for resolution.

PS to my regular readers and protagonists: remind me not to be quite so strong on the irony when responding to the "occasionals" or "irregulars".
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BorisBear
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DanA

I think posters requests for help/ideas are always met more favourably when posters offer some thoughts of their own.

Otherwise it comes across as someone wanting other people to do their job for them.
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DanA
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You two make quite the welcoming committee. Rolling Eyes

Diarmid, you actually provided some useful advice towards the end. Pity one must get past the condescending attitude to reach it.

BTW, the "ITIL compliant" term was put in quotes for a reason. It is a reference to the endorsement of certain software being ITIL process "compliant," through the OGC. I don't disagree with your statement though, you'll just have to argue it with them.
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handlingit
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:23 am    Post subject: Problem Weighting Matrix Reply with quote

Thanks all for your comments.

My intention was not to get others to do my job. I was trying to gage whether a matrix of this kind is often used by Problem Managers and to compare my ideas against established systems.

I have knocked up something simple that I will push out to the Problem Management Board members for their thoughts.

Every Problem will be rated in each of these categories as “High (3),” “Medium (2),” “Low (1)” or “None (0).” These ratings are then weighted to arrive at an overall score which is compared to all other Problems. The seven areas being:

1. Cost to business (weighting of 9) - The cost to the business when this problem occurs.
2. Productivity loss (weighting of 7) - Productivity loss in terms of time when this problem occurs. I suppose there is an argument that this could be the same as no.1)
3. Number of calls (weighting of 5) - The number of tickets being logged with the Service Desk for this problem.
4. Number of staff affected (weighting of 4) - The number of staff impacted by the problem.
5. Sensitivity (weighting of 2) - The sensitivity or profile of the individual, department or branch\site.
6. Hierarchy (weighting of 2) - The position of the user within the organisation.

This is work in progress and any input would be appreciated.
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UKVIKING
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no welcome committee

You post here at your own risk

As Boris said, there are posts about advice which is freely given and can be on point, sarcastic or just plain mean spirited. VBEG.

In addition, there are posts where the poster wants the response as instructions so that it can be used for completign the job or role.

Then there are the ones in between.

All advice here is freely given and under no obligations for you to use. You dont like the advice, fine. Do not use it
You like the advice, fine. Use or not. No one here can be held responsible for any issues that arise from any misinterpretation

TANSTAAFL
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Marcel
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:56 am    Post subject: Re: Problem Weighting Matrix Reply with quote

handlingit wrote:
Every Problem will be rated in each of these categories as “High (3),” “Medium (2),” “Low (1)” or “None (0).” These ratings are then weighted to arrive at an overall score which is compared to all other Problems. The seven areas being:

1. Cost to business (weighting of 9) - The cost to the business when this problem occurs.
2. Productivity loss (weighting of 7) - Productivity loss in terms of time when this problem occurs. I suppose there is an argument that this could be the same as no.1)
3. Number of calls (weighting of 5) - The number of tickets being logged with the Service Desk for this problem.
4. Number of staff affected (weighting of 4) - The number of staff impacted by the problem.
5. Sensitivity (weighting of 2) - The sensitivity or profile of the individual, department or branch\site.
6. Hierarchy (weighting of 2) - The position of the user within the organisation.


It seems to me factors 1, 2, 3, and 4 are very closely related. This introduces the risk of "double dipping" or building a bias into your system. Be careful with that. Number 5 smells fishy to me. It looks like building politics and favoritism into the system. I would stay away from that.

In our organization we consider impact and urgency, which together translate into priority:
1) Impact is determined based on the affected service/system, the potential level of degradation/damage, and the potential frequency of occurrence. The last aspect is what sets the impact determination for problems apart from the one for incidents: for problems we are interested in the cumulative impact of all occurrences.
2) Urgency is determined based on the expected start of the impact (right now? could happen in 6 months?), the expected time to restore service when it happens, the expected effort to restore service (can our support organization handle this?) and the availability of an acceptable workaround that prevents or minimizes impact.

A matrix then maps impact and urgency to priority.

Although I agree with many of Diarmids considerations, it is my opinion that many organizations are not capable to look at problems in such a refined way when prioritizing them. To make it managable you will probably have to make some assumptions and adopt a set of financial parameters that you use consistently. For instance, you will probably have to use a set cost per hour for downtime to system X even though you know that that cost might be higher in some times of the year than in other times due to your business cycle. You will probably need to use a fixed cost/hour when determining cost of productivity loss for a number of employees even though not every employee has the same hourly wage. The key thing in my mind is that you are consistent and can explain how you calculated these numbers (preferably get the business to provide them to you).
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handlingit
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good advice Marcel - thanks for taking the timeout to respond. Much appreciated.
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