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ITIL :: View topic - Problem Manager vs. Chain of command.
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Problem Manager vs. Chain of command.

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Peter L

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:55 pm    Post subject: Problem Manager vs. Chain of command. Reply with quote


I am just wondering if anyone and I assume everyone has had any problems with the chain of command vs. those who hold the role of managers for either process hold.
I work in fairly large organization and we are somewhere in the middle of our ITIL implementation. Our first focus was Service Delivery.

Somewhere in all this I mainly see a conflict between organizational Hierachy and the Problem manager. Mainly we face this during emergency maintenance. Not that it happens very often, but work can or are slowed by the fact that the right people wants to uphold hierarchy rather than getting the process finished.

To summarize exactly what my question is:
Have anyone gotten through this obstacle without too many upset executives, and in what categories should the problem manager take command?

Wow, I just realized that this question was a bit more unclear than I intended it to be. =)
Nevertheless, any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Senior Itiler

Joined: May 27, 2005
Posts: 79
Location: Madrid-Spain

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:02 pm    Post subject: About Hierarquical Escalation Reply with quote

Hi Peter,

I have found quite the same problem, I really think to define something like Problem Management should be a Executive Management Commitment otherwise will be very difficult to success in this implementation.

What I had suggested to the customer I am working for is to create an specific group in charge of Problem Management with a problem management team leader that will report to a different manager than Service Desk or Incident Management.

I really think that if you will explain clearly to your organizations the benefits that they will obtain from Problem Management, they will accept to make some resources organizational changes.

In my case they have segregate the group in charge for problem management from one unit to other one, is really important in order to avoid problems as you have reported in your post that this problem management can work with enough independence.

Hope it helps
Best Regards
ITIL Consultant
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Peter L

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great info.
The part of creating a specific group for problem management is somewhat on the way, not entierly so but atleast discussions are taking place. so hopefully with a bit of hard work it will easier in the future.

/ Peter L
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Senior Itiler

Joined: May 27, 2005
Posts: 79
Location: Madrid-Spain

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:43 pm    Post subject: About Problem Management Group Reply with quote

Hi Peter,

We have define Problem Management group based on people that was taking charge of second and third line support.

In my current customer, a very big State Agency, it was quite hard to segregate this people that was under the same manager as Service Desk and Incident Management, and create a different group.

I really think in order to avoid hierarquical problems, as you point in your previous post, this Problem Management group should have enough indepedenceand its manager should report directly to IT Service Management Manager. Its main objective is completely different from Incident Management.

Hope it helps
Javier Garcia Arcal
PhD Engineer. IT Service Managent Certified
ITIL Consultant
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:42 pm    Post subject: PM reporting hierarchy Reply with quote

Problem Management subscribes to the provision of a service. As you stated in your 1st mail you implemented Service Delivery first. Therefore you are still to implement Service Support (?) where Problem Management would ordinarily sit.

I would propose that your current Service Delivery Manager be the direct report for PM, and he/she should champion PMs aim within the existing service structure.At a later stage when you introduce Service Support, then PM will report to the Service Support Manager.
Reporting in either way will get rid of any 'middle management' bottlenecks whilst still giving you a high profile within your organisation.

PM should be able to request technical teams to undertake work on their behalf without getting any static, therefore they should be seen to enjoy a high status / profile and management support within the company.
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Joined: Dec 22, 2005
Posts: 10
Location: South Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest that the Problem Manager is not a single function but a necessary role for each system, or group of related systems. They take responsibility for resolving problems within their domain and also for proactive problem resolution. These all need to be mapped out and agreed beforehand for each system.
The problem management processes would be supervised by the Service delivery / Support manager, using the SLA reporting as a means of control. They effectively integrate incident, problem and change under one banner - no need for an additional function unless they cannot handle it - leaving the technical expertise with the system managers
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