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ITIL :: View topic - Workaround and/or known resolution?
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Workaround and/or known resolution?

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Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:48 am    Post subject: Workaround and/or known resolution? Reply with quote

Would a workaround just describe how to prevent an issue or also how to solve any reoccurrence of an issue for which a Known Error is available?

The latter one would be a "known resolution" to me, but I wonder if it also fits in the definition of a workaround.
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Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Marcel

Looking at your posts, I would suggest it may be an idea for you to read up on ITIL a little more as you appear to be confused what Problem Management is.

Have you done the foundation course?

A workaround describes how to deal with any current occures of the particular issue until a permanent resolution can be found (if it is being sought of course).

There is no such thing as a Known Resolution within ITIL (as far as I am aware), there is a Known Error which is what a Problem becomes when the root cause and a workaround have been establised.
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Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Noneforit,

Thanks for your interest in my posts and your feedback.

A littlebit background about myself: I've been employed within Service Management for about 10 years; most of the time with Change Management, but recently switched to Problem Management.

ICT is not the primary business process in our (manufacturing) company; so keeping the business going is more important then becoming an ITIL expert.

Yes, I've done the Foundation courses: V2.0 some years ago and V3.0 some months ago. Also passed both exams.

So I think I'm well aware of the basics. With my posts I'm trying address some practical topics for which ITIL - as a framework - doesn't provide the answers.

Like this one about workarounds to deal with issues for which I see 2 possibilities. Let me clarify with an example what I mean. Suppose your color printer ran out of red toner.

One possibility would be to prevent issues by only sending black and white prints to that printer or by using another printer.

Another possibility would be that you still send your color print to the printer, get the error message that the printer ran out of red toner and then solve this issue by adjusting the settings for this print to black an white.

So I was (and still am) wondering if both possibilities (preventing and solving) would fit in the definition of a workaround.

Indeed, "Known Resolution" is not an ITIL term (that's why I put it between quotes).

Thanks again. I'll be looking forward to any additional feedback.
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3597
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


ITIL is not the be all and end all for all in regards to IT

here is my take on your sceanrio

1 - You have an incident that has to be resolve

Toner for red ink out

2 - To resolve the incident, put a new red toner in the printer - if there is one available, if not, order one and inform all users of that printer - this printer will only print B&W

2a - Most printers will print B&W automatically if there is no color toner.

3 - If this happens to several printers at the same time, this should throw up a red flag.. snicker.. could not resist.

Therefore questions / PM may be involved

Do the printers have the capability to have its toner level monitored and reported on ?
If so, why is it not done ?

Capacity mgmt may be involved - as how mucg supplies of toner should be kept on hand

Finally, in addition, the people responsibile for providing maintenance / support for the printer surely have business process (not ITIL) that has them spot check printers as part of servicing machine

ITIL can NOT provide an answer to everything
John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


I have this theory about workarounds Idea (oooh no! Another one from MarcelBeug Rolling Eyes ). A bit philosophical though.

Consider a timeline. Somewhere on that timeline an issue starts and somewhere further ahead it ends.
Wouldn't a workaround then just be anything that was done in dealing with past issues, anything that is being done in dealing with current issues and anything that is currently being done in dealing with (preventing) future issues?

From that point of view, ITIL provides a lot of guidelines to have/get some usefull workarounds in place (instead of just doing anything).

In other words: there is always a workaround, but we'd better provide a usefull one. Exclamation
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Joined: Dec 30, 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When it comes to true meaning of work around, it is definitely not anything that was done in dealing with incident.
In that case, for any Incident with unknown cause, re-installing the application and restoring last backup will always look like a work around. However it does not serve purpose of Incident Manager as his/her objective is to restore services as early as possible to reduce overall impact on business.

Hence In my opinion, the ‘something’
(1) that can be done (or was done in past) to restore affected services
(1) and it takes shortest possible time
(2) and that can be applied generically,
(3) and that does not have any unwanted ‘side effects’
will qualify as a true workaround.

In case of Printer toner issue you have referred,
If the business unit which uses this printer ‘must’ print in color (as a business requirement and/or as agreed in SLA), the Incident does not stand resolved unless the printer is capable of printing in color again. Setting it to print black & white will not qualify as work around.

In such business critical cases,
(1) while designing availability (and hence maintainability) the service designer would always incorporate arrangement of spare cartridge(s) to replace empty one, as soon as possible.
(2) while designing capacity, a process will be implemented to monitor consumption of Toner either automatically or manually (As mentioned by UKVIKING)

Hope it is useful.
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