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ITIL :: View topic - Close incident when problem is created on Service Desk or...
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Close incident when problem is created on Service Desk or...

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Joined: Jan 05, 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:46 pm    Post subject: Close incident when problem is created on Service Desk or... Reply with quote


We are in the process of implementing Problem Mgt. The forum we have established disagree on many points which I am hoping someone will be able to clarify one of them Smile.

When an incident becomes a problem, is the incident then closed on the Service Desk and a problem opened with the incident linked to that problem thus stopping the incident escalation? Or is the incident left open with the escalations running concurrent to a problem thus almost guaranteeing violation of that incident?

Pls help.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:19 am    Post subject: When does an Incident become a Problem query Reply with quote

Hi Angeline,

An incident remains open until service has been restored to the customer, a workaround has been provided or there is agreement between IT and the customer that the incident cannot be resolved. At this point it will go into a resolved state (as opposed to closed) and all escalations and the SLA clock will be halted. The incident is then closed through a separate process when the Service Desk is sure no further action is required - this may be in a day, a week or even a month later. It is up to each organisation to identify how this will best work for them.

A problem is generated when there is an incident of significant impact or a recurring incident requiring investigation and the root cause is unknown.

The answer to your question is "It depends on the circumstances of the incident".

The incident remains in an active status until service has been restored. However if the incident is of some significance a problem may be opened to find the root cause and this may run in parallel to the service restoration or workaround.

In most cases the incident will usually be in a resolved state (SLA clock has stopped) and a problem record generated to find the root cause. The incident may remain open (in the resolved state) until the problem has been resolved in which case it may then be closed.

An incident may also be in a closed state if the problem was identified through trend analysis. A number of incidents may be related and indicate an underlying problem with the IT infrastructure. There would be no need to re-open these incidents as long as they are linked to the problem record.

As you can see ITIL only provides guidance in these areas, you must establish the procedures for how you will deal with these workflows within your own organisation.

Best wishes.

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Joined: Dec 01, 2004
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My interpretation of ITIL/SM is if the incident has a successful workaround that has been applied for the Customer, then the incident is 'finished' and can be closed at the Servicedesk (it's resolved after all). The underlying problem causing the Incident is passed through to Problem Management for resolution at that level.

If the Incident has not been resolved for the Customer(s) by the time the issue is identified as a Problem as well, then it follows that the Incident should still be managed seperately as an Incident at the Servicedesk (to ensure Customers are operational ASAP as per an Incident) as well as passed through to Problem Management for resolution, and information from both processes should be made available for post-incident review.

Hope this is helpful and, more to the point for my own kudos, accuracte Very Happy


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Joined: Dec 18, 2004
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Tania gave an excellent answer. I would only add that the goals of Incident Management/Service Desk of Restoration of service as quickly as possible can conflict with the goal of Problem Management to identify root cause and excise the error from the infrastructure.

There is a delicate balance here in that it may be that the only way to gather the data Problem Management requires may involve a loss of service.

Therefore the SLA ( or lacking the SLA the Service Level Requirements ) need to be considered when dealing with an Incident without a known root cause ( by def a problem ).
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