Problem Management

The purpose of Problem Management is to minimize the adverse effect on the business of Incidents and Problems caused by errors in the infrastructure, and to proactively prevent these things from happening.

Impact, Urgency, Severity, Priority and Category

The typical ITIL assessment fields of Impact, Urgency, Severity and Priority on Problem records are already created and available. However, in the case of Problem, you need to create the Priority field as a new reference list in Object Designer. If you want to implement Impact, Urgency and Priority across multiple process domains (Incident, Problem, Change, Request, and so on) ITIL guidelines recommend that you use a common set of values (so the same values for impact, urgency, category and priority are used in all cases).

Known Errors

Service Desk can provide Known Error recording and communication in a number of ways. The default design includes a Problem status of Known Error, which is usually sufficient for most ITIL implementations of Service Desk.

However, more mature ITIL implementations may choose to enhance Service Desk's handling of Known Errors. The procedure below describes how to use the standard design tools to implement a Problem process that automatically creates a knowledge article whenever a Known Error is created.

For more information, see also Knowledge Management.

To add Create Known Error to the Problem process:
  1. Using the Object Designer component, create a new Object in the Problem Management module called Known Error. Include text attributes for Symptom and Workaround as well as the usual Creation Date/Time/User attributes. You could also add Configuration Item or Service.
  2. Link the Known Error to the Problem object as a collection.
  3. Optionally, add Test / Development / Live to the Article Type list (or as Boolean check boxes to the Problem window) to describe which environment the Known Errors were identified in.
  4. At the appropriate (single or multiple) points in the Problem process, include the new action Create Known Error using the Process Designer component.
  5. After the Create Known Error action, include an automatic action Create Knowledge that creates a knowledge article using the content described in the Known Error above.

Other Problem processes

Although one process is provided to run through the diagnosis and resolution of Problems, other problem processes can be used in more creative ways to help with proactively identifying possible areas of future problems. For example, Fault Tree Analysis, an iterative process of considering possible causes of failure and possible components is well-suited to a different type of Problem process.

Major Problems

A major problem is one that had a sufficiently high impact that it is worth reviewing afterwards if there are any lessons that can be learned from it. You can include a step in the process to check if one is required by including a check box on either the Problem itself or resolution window and using this to route the process to an Awaiting Major Review status after the resolution.