Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:26 am Post subject: Problem Management timeline
After working as a support team manager in the UK (in a mature ITIL environment), I have returned to the US where I have taken on the role as the brand new and sole problem manager in a very immature ITIL environment.
As it was a new role and a change from Peregrine (3.0) to Remedy (6.0) was scheduled to occur within 6-8 months, I tried to concentrate on instilling a problem management culture within the IT support function. Proper diagnostics, troubleshooting and root cause analysis; all of these were pretty much ignored. Peregrine was misused from install - incidents are for FCR and problem records are for any incident that needs to be sent to a 2nd or 3rd level support team for resolution - I couldn't use Peregrine the way it was intended. I have had to resort to spreadsheets to track all major incidents the way I would have used Peregrine.
My plan was to work on the education and reactive phases for the first year and then once Remedy was inplace I could become more proactive. From a support team view, this is working very well, they are working with me to determine root cause and are trusting that I'm not here to be "Big Brother" or the CIO's Headhunter looking for people making mistakes. It is a slow process but working. While this was initially agreed by my boss it seems to have been pushed aside for producing BIG wins, validating my position by demonstrating cost savings, producing service improvements with each problem record, etc
Problem Management is the hard one to sell to the management. I have worked in ITIL newbie environment, and the Prob Mgmt position was redefined several times in two year period only to sell the idea to Management. Eventually, this position was pushed to Third Level Support.
I am currently working on separatign Incidnet and Problem mangement (different company, but still immature on ITIL). We have the management's blessing on this initiative, so I do not think we are going to see the same problem. Although when it comes to tools, management just does not want to get any tools.
Unless top management agrees its difficult to implement functions.. but we have to explain and convince them that these ITIL functions would in long run reduce the costs incurred due to failures, optimize the services and increase customer satisfaction.
I've had a similar experience to GEO and what worked for me was getting buy in first from senior management and then going to each of the support teams and getting their support. I positioned Problem Mgt as something that would benefit every team and that I would be there to support them in the process. I went to team meetings and gave lunch and learn sessions and we're now getting there albeit slowly
Because ITIL is such a hot topic in my organization, it isn't difficult to get senior management support. The support teams aren't an issue either. It only took a couple PIRs to demonstrate that I wasn't out for blood and I was only interested in the facts and preventing recurrence of the issue.
My main issue is with my boss. No matter how many times we discuss it or how many ways I explain it - I can't get PM understood. I've used the Tortoise and the Hare analogy - slow and steady wins the race. My boss feels that there should be moments of the Hare in PM on a regular basis.
At least monthly, I am expected to produce some fireworks accompanied BIG win that validates PM's existence. No matter what I do I'm not changing that mindset and with mid-year appraisals looming...
Am I alone in this or is this a common reaction concerning PM?
Joined: Nov 01, 2004 Posts: 81 Location: Sask, Canada
Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:32 pm Post subject:
Geo, I Feel for You. Some people! - you buy them books and you buy them books, and they just chew on the covers. You are fortunate that you have done such a good job of gaining the support of Senior mgmt and your Support teams.
In a similar situation I looked for a monthly insight to raise attention above the individual problems, and provide common goals. Eye-catching graphics can help too.
Producing metrics with different perspectives: by month, by quarter, month-over-month and annual can sometimes spark understanding - or at least confuse the uninitiated into silence.
Best of luck
/Sharon _________________ In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is!
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