Introduction:

The problem management process goes hand in hand with incident management and change management. These processes are critical for IT-business strategy alignment and maintaining high levels of productivity throughout an organization.

Although problem management is its own process, it is dependent on an effective incident management process and interaction with other related ITIL processes.

Process Street recently released a full ITIL template pack, which includes templates for incident and change management, providing you with a way to perform first-class end-to-end management of these processes.

Back to this template.

Problem management is primarily designed to prevent, or at least minimize, downtime and disruptions that occur as a result of IT-related problems.

A few other key benefits of problem management are:

  • Improved service quality and availability
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced costs (minimal waste of resources)
  • Improved customer satisfaction

In this checklist, we will guide you through the entire process flow for problem management, enabling you to effectively log, investigate, diagnose, and resolve the problems that threaten to negatively impact business performance.

Let's get going.

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The point is to minimize human error, increase accountability, and provide employees with all of the tools and information necessary to complete their tasks as effectively as possible.

Problem detection:

Enter basic details

First, enter some basic details regarding how the problem was received, contact details of the problem manager, and determine if this particular problem has been logged at an earlier date.

If you select "Other", be sure to elaborate in the text field below before moving on.

Problem logging:

Create a problem record

Create a problem record within your ITIL management system and link to it below. 

This will be where are important information regarding the problem is stored and will be used by various individuals to solve it through a collaborative effort.

In the record, you should include the following information:

  • 1
    Unique ID
  • 2
    Date and time of detection
  • 3
    Problem owner
  • 4
    Description of symptoms
  • 5
    Affected users/business areas
  • 6
    Affected service(s)
  • 7
    Priority level
  • 8
    Category

Categorize the problem

Categorize the problem (e.g. Network, Hardware, Software).

Note: Problem categories should be harmonized with Incident categories to support matching between Incidents and Problems

Prioritize the problem

Approval: Problem record is logged properly

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Create a problem record
    Will be submitted
  • Categorize the problem
    Will be submitted
  • Prioritize the problem
    Will be submitted

Investigation & diagnosis:

Conduct a thorough investigation

Now that the problem record is up to date and contains all of the information necessary to perform an investigation, it's time to figure out what's going on and what needs to be done to resolve the problem.

Enter initial diagnosis

Following the investigation, concisely write down your initial diagnosis of the problem in the form field below. 

At this stage, it is also important to determine if it is possible to provide a temporary workaround that can be implemented to deal with related incidents and minimize service disruption while a permanent solution for the problem is being developed. 

Create a Known Error record

Now that the problem has been identified and diagnosed, it becomes a "Known Error" record. 

Create the record and link to it below.

It’s important to create a Known Error record. If future Incidents or Problems arise, the investigating service desk technician will identify and provide resolution more quickly using the known error database (KEDB) and associated workaround(s).

Temporary workaround:

Briefly describe the workaround

A temporary workaround, while not the ideal solution, is a great way to avoid severe disruption to business operations and keep things running as smoothly as possible while you work on developing a permanent solution.

Below, provide a description of the workaround and an explanation of how it will be implemented.

Approval: Workaround is ready for implementation

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Briefly describe the workaround
    Will be submitted

Implement the temporary workaround

Now that the workaround has been approved, its time to deploy it and begin focusing on developing a permanent solution to the problem. 

Problem resolution:

Describe the resolution

Describe the problem resolution in the text form field below. 

The initial diagnosis entered earlier in the checklist is available below for reference.

Initial diagnosis: {{form.Initial_diagnosis}}

If there are any supporting documents relevant to the resolution, you can upload and/or link to them below.

Perform tests to confirm service recovery

Perform all necessary tests to confirm that the problem has been resolved and services have returned to normal.

Approval: Tests have been successful

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Perform tests to confirm service recovery
    Will be submitted

Implement resolution

Implement the problem resolution using your standard procedure. 

Problem closure:

Close the problem record

Great work! The resolution has been deployed and services returned to normal. 

You can now carry out the satisfying and relieving task of closing the problem record. 

Link to problem record: {{form.Link_to_new_problem_record}}

Close any associated incident records

Once you've close the problem record, don't forget to also close any associated incident records to keep your data clean, organized, and up to date. 

Ensure the initial classification details are accurate

As a final step in the problem management process, the service desk technician should ensure that the initial classification details are accurate for future reference and reporting

Below is the link to the problem record for easy access.

Problem record: {{form.Link_to_new_problem_record}}

Sources:

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