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Updated problem management processes and tool

October 21, 2021

This article was originally published in the October 21, 2021 IT Weekly.

With the training and launch for problem management in TeamDynamix set for November, this article provides a more in-depth overview of the updated processes and definitions related to problem management.  

The minimum viable product (MVP) for problem management is a single problem ticket and a workflow that helps identify and solve problems. A problem is defined as the unknown, underlying cause of an incident. Problems are distinct from major incidents. Major incidents, which may be caused by problems, are considered emergencies that require immediate attention and may be resolved with a temporary solution. While problems may be pressing, they are not emergencies, and the goal is to permanently resolve them through in-depth root cause analysis. 

The updated problem management process will help OIT reduce recurring major incidents facing the organization that cannot be solved quickly. The current process is ad hoc and does not always reach completion, so a problem’s root cause often remains unknown. The new process and TDX problem management module will provide more transparency on progress and clarify how to escalate potential problems. 

The TDX module will also connect problem management with other ITSM processes. Multiple incident tickets with the same issue may result in the creation of a problem ticket, and those incident tickets can be attached to the problem ticket for potential future communication with users. When a problem ticket is resolved, it might lead to a change ticket to implement the necessary fix. Once the knowledge base is launched, knowledge articles can also be attached to problem tickets to provide additional information. 

Because problem management is a time- and resource-intensive process, we will be selective about which problems are addressed and limit the number of people who can create a problem ticket. Individuals will be sent an email for training once the list of required attendees is finalized. Training will be on November 5 (9:30-10:30 a.m.) and November 8 (1-2 p.m.). Both sessions will cover the same information, and a recording will be available for those who cannot attend. Documentation, including a full workflow diagram, will be shared with invitees prior to training for review.