Incident vs Problem
Many organizations struggle to differ between problems and incidents, and the ITIL methodology aims at clarifying the difference between the two Incident vs Problem: A problem refers to the unknown cause of one or more incidents. To use a simple analogy: If a problem is like a disease, then the incidents are the symptoms.
8 Steps to Resolve an ITIL Problem
Whenever the service desk encounters a major problem within its systems, there are eight steps which it needs to perform in order to resolve the problem –
The first step is to identify the root cause of the problem, and not just the lone incident which is only a symptom of the problem. This requires identifying incidents throughout the organization, either proactively or by receiving multiple service requests.
Since a service desk usually has more than one employee, it is important to share all the incidents. This will help in identifying the root cause of the problem, and will serve as a log for lessons learned and future improvements.
Since each user fills in a service request a bit differently, it is important to categorize them as they come in. This will help in modeling the incidents, which will allow the service desk to collate as many incidents into one major problem and solve it. It is possible to have more than one category. For example: Main category is “Communication”, whilst the secondary one is “Desk Phone”.
Once all the requests are recorded and categorized, it is important to prioritize them in order of urgency and importance. Ideally the more important ones will be solved first, although most organizations solve the urgent ones first.
Now comes the hardest part, figuring out what the problem is and deciding on how to solve it. This step of course requires the most amount of time, and it shouldn’t be rushed. Once the problem has been diagnosed and the root problem is detected, the service desk needs to suggest the best solution for rooting out the problem.
If the suggestion in the previous step was approved, now the team needs to implement the solution across the organization. This step requires the whole team to understand the problem, the solution and to implement it in the same manner.
After the problem has been solved, documenting the entire process (from stet #1 to #6) will assist in resolving future issues. This should be done in a set template, which will help in familiarizing the team with the process.
The final step is more often than not skipped, since most of the service desk employees don’t see an immediate benefit in doing so. This task usually falls on the team lead of the service desk, and is very important for the organization to grow and learn from its mistakes.
How it fits into the ITIL methodology
This process is crucial for the long-term success of the organization, and is the core foundation of a robust service desk entity. The problem resolving collates many different incident reports, and is internal as well as external facing.
Download Major Problem Report Template