Rule out déjà vu with Problem Management

Problem management is one of the processes that is often disregarded or ignored as not being important or critical, when in real time it is avoided due to lack of time. Problem management is simple and when understood properly and executed with discipline, it is quite easy to implement.

Purpose of Problem Management :

“The primary goal of problem management is to reduce adverse impacts caused by incidents and to avoid the recurrence of problems related to these incidents.”* More importantly, eliminating the root cause ensures that the incident itself doesn’t repeat again.

During a recent consulting scenario, we came across a ”wi-fi not working” incident. Users in a specific zone were unable to access internet and several issues were reported. The technician suggested a basic troubleshooting tip to restart the access point. This resolved the incident for a short while. As you guessed, the incident occurred again and again till it became an ongoing nightmare.To eliminate the issue, we quickly initiated problem management. A problem team analyzed the problem and identified that the access point was faulty. Once the root cause was identified, the problem was eliminated by replacing the access point. This helped in avoiding further déjà vu or repetition of the incident.

Rules of engagement:

  1. Multiple incidents involving the same issue
  2. Common Symptoms
  3. Known Error with a possible workaround
  4. Root cause is unknown

Best practice tip:

Proper classification and categorization of incidents always help in identifying problems sooner. Without proper classification it is almost impossible to relate incidents to a common problem and you will end up using your resources unnecessarily to resolve each incident. So stop fire fighting and eliminate root cause.



  • – Wikipedia link


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About the Author: Shannon Lewis

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