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ITIL :: View topic - 24x7 Problem Management - Your Thoughts?
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24x7 Problem Management - Your Thoughts?

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Joined: Dec 02, 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:24 am    Post subject: 24x7 Problem Management - Your Thoughts? Reply with quote

Hello everyone!

I have been a lurker on this forum for some time so first and foremost thanks for the info over the years.

I am after your thoughts on 24x7 Problem Management. Recently I have been asked by a couple of potential customers if we provide Problem Management 24x7 - We don't. I often find out after some probing questions that they are actually referring to Major Incident Management. However recently they have actually been referring to Problem Management and it appears to be gaining traction within our Service Management community.

I am not keen for a number of reasons which include, the cost of resources and potentially losing the clear separation of Incident & Problem Management that we have in this organisation.

Your thoughts?
Does anyone have experience of providing a 24x7 Problem Management service?
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Joined: Mar 31, 2008
Posts: 109
Location: North West England

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


We provide 24x7 "Problem Management" in the form of an on-call manager, who's main job is to manage critical incidents when the reset of the department on tucked up in bed.

We don't do any other problem management, either pro-active or reactive.

Yes, this costs a few pounds each year but the other option is to let the on-call technician get deeper and deeper into shit if a high impact incident gets too big for them, which will cost you a few pounds in lost income when the incident is prolonged.

As for your arguement that you don't want o blur the lines between incident and problem management, just call it the It's All Gone Pete Tong process then no one will be offened. It's not what you call the process or team, is what you do with it.

Hope that helps

Mick Smith
Change, Configuration and Release Manager
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Joined: Sep 05, 2007
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi PMPhil,
From my point of view this question doesn’t really make sense.

The difference between Incident Management and Problems Management is that the goal of the IM activity is to restore the disrupted service the soonest; the goal of PM is the continuous improvement of the service by eradicating the root causes of the recurring incidents.

So if your Incident management works fine there is no need from a customer point of view of a 24/7 problem management activity, because it doesn’t affect the way the service is provided to the customer.

If I were you I’d face the issue differently.

Ask the customer to clearly describe what does he want when he talk about “24/7 problem management“. Make him describing his needs.

Then check point by point what is covered by your actual Incidents management process and what it doesn’t.

Then eventually look for some improvements of your IM process to cover some “holes” your client has eventually discovered.

I think that as you stated is more about Major Incident Management. (That is also the activity Mick described in his answer)

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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3597
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Dam is right. Problem mgmt (ITIL) is not time based but solution based so having a 24x7 PM team is useless - unless you have lots of problems (ITIL)

because a lot of people interchange incident mgmt (ITIL) with problem solving (non itil) team is where the confusion is

The Service Desk would handle the incidents/major incident va the incident mgmt major incident process

if a major incident jhappens, the pm usually gets invoked as well as the major incident team
John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Joined: Dec 02, 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


I second Dam's response and John's follow up. In particular, with the point that PM is not timed based but solution based, the establishment of a 24x7 team could result in the rushing of your PM activities to the point that root causes aren't addressed in the best possible way.

However just be watchful that should your potential customers not have the same degree of ITIL knowledge as you, you don't spend too much time and effort trying to correct their understanding and terminology. The key thing is for you to cover the check points that your potential customer wants.

Keep us posted on how it goes. I'm interested to see how they respond and whether they are satisfied with your IM or insist on 24x7 PM.
Justin Yoon
Director - CLB7
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