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ITIL :: View topic - Problem Management 'avg' time required to find root cause
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Problem Management 'avg' time required to find root cause

 
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sweetdje
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:47 am    Post subject: Problem Management 'avg' time required to find root cause Reply with quote

I have a question regarding industry sources for average time to find root cause for major problems -

Background - A member of our Service Mgmt team is suggesting an SLA on the Problem Management process. He feels our support teams are taking too long to identify root cause and work toward solution. His hope is this will force teams to work quicker (work arounds are generally in place)

I have been doing some research and found lots of opinions on the topic, but am in search of a source such as Forrester, Pink, Exin white paper. Any suggestions are appreciated.
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UKVIKING
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest, a SLA on Porblem mgmt will make the PM process unworkable

Unlike Incident where the goal is to resore service and a sla is usfull, PM is trying to find why it happened

That said, the PM Mgmr should have guidlines not SLA on finding the root cause and define that as part of the process and review
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Diarmid
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Joined: Mar 04, 2008
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Location: Newcastle-under-Lyme

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Problem management is not customer facing. It is service facing. That is exactly what John said in a more practical way. Therefore an SLA for problem management is a non sequitur.

2. The very notion of a useful average time to resolve problems is in fairyland. A problem is not resolved until changes have occurred and have been confirmed as removing the problem. The time taken to arrive at this state depends on very many factors that are not attributable to the speed at which people work.

Knowing the average time for past problems tells you nothing about how long the next one will take, nor how efficient the process was for the most recently completed. Unless, of course, all your problems are more or less identical and your business and technical environment are not subject to change.

All this is true in spades for "major" problems, because they are far less likely to be similar to one another, and there ought not to be sufficient of them to form a useful statistical base for anything. As for industry sources, it is impractical to gather them with sufficient control to make them useful. your first two problems are the patchiness of their availability and the difficulty in determining whether their definition of "major problem" in any way resembles your own.

There is a discussion on LinkedIn along the same lines, but for changes. The answers are more or less the same. Well mine are anyway!

If your management believes performance is not up to scratch, then you will just have to analyse specific cases - or run trials.
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Boydness
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:42 am    Post subject: Re: Problem Management 'avg' time required to find root caus Reply with quote

sweetdje wrote:
I have a question regarding industry sources for average time to find root cause for major problems -

Background - A member of our Service Mgmt team is suggesting an SLA on the Problem Management process. He feels our support teams are taking too long to identify root cause and work toward solution. His hope is this will force teams to work quicker (work arounds are generally in place)

I have been doing some research and found lots of opinions on the topic, but am in search of a source such as Forrester, Pink, Exin white paper. Any suggestions are appreciated.


I would look at it, as why are they asking?

Arbitrary deadlines do not deliver results within Problem Management.

Seems that they have a concern related to resources and are they being devoted appropriately to resolving the problem. I suspect they believe that they are *suffering* as a result of the *perceived indifference* that Problem Management's has towards the situation.
What we have here is a failure to communicate. Possibly on many levels.

You would need to share more on the dynamics at play.

Is it that your problem Priority rating is not truly identifying those problems that should have the highest Priority? Something that a stakeholder considers to be a Priority 1 is mistakenly assigned and treated as a Priority 3, etc?
Are we talking about resolving the problem or just identifying an effective workaround? Or is it the constant need to employ the workaround the cause of the discontent? There are workarounds and then there are 'effective workarounds'.
Bailing water with a cup from a sinking boat might be a workaround, but it would not have been an 'effective workaround' for the Titanic.

What relationship do you have the vendor, etc related/involved in this problem? Have you engaged every knowledge base and anyone that has knowledge and the skillsets to assist in resolving the problem?

If you are devoting resources to resolving the problem, because there are higher priority problems, then that should be conveyed. This is possibly where you consider elevating a "High Visibility Low Priority" problem to how you treat a Priority 1.

Not all problems can be solved or would be feasible to devote resources to resolving. Obviously, the inquires about an SLA are most likely not referring to that nature of problem. But, some bothersome problem that is consuming the stakeholders resources.

All of your Problems should be reviewed and discussed with the stakeholders based on Priority Level. The open communication fosters support for problem management by agreeing on the challenges and the proposed way-ahead for continuing to resolve the problem. At some point you have the Proceed Further decision, for which the stakeholders should be engaged to offer input.

So, obviously there is a perception that something is broke with your problem management process and the request for an SLA is the means that they think will help fix it. But it won't, because that is not addressing where your process is breaking down.

Was that SLA request in response to a specific problem or multiple problems?


Boydness
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acv215
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject: SLA for Problem process. Reply with quote

We are using a "Target" of 30 days for Problem closure and 60 days for Known Error resolution. We publish a weekly report of all open Problems and Known errors and a report of open Problems and KE associated to VP's in the organization. This helps since senior management look at the lists. That being said I have had a few KE's open for more than a year. Sometimes it takes a while to get funding and project management lined up to resolve issues.
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Diarmid
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Joined: Mar 04, 2008
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Location: Newcastle-under-Lyme

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:28 pm    Post subject: Re: SLA for Problem process. Reply with quote

acv215 wrote:
We are using a "Target" of 30 days for Problem closure and 60 days for Known Error resolution.....That being said I have had a few KE's open for more than a year. Sometimes it takes a while to get funding and project management lined up to resolve issues.


I have to ask:

1. how did you arrive at 30 days and 60 days?

2. is this on some kind of (rolling) average or for each problem and KE?

3. how do the targets affect your behaviour in managing problems?

4. are your year long KEs absolved from your performance figures and if so, is that done on an ad hoc basis or by means of documented criteria?

5. do you have so many problems that your figures have statistical reliability? - by which I mean to ask if you are a very large organization, rather than are you drowning in problems.
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