In any department, Problems always arise. There is no way to get away from any business process without facing certain problems in the way. Efficient organizations always have a defined process of dealing with risks and contingencies and also the problems that can hinder the progress of business processes. And this is the very point where non-efficient organizations fall behind schedule of many days while trying to organize solutions for their problems only when they occur. Companies and businesses worldwide continue facing problems and also keep solving them from time to time. Those who are winning organizations follow some practices that happen to be the best ones for effective problem management. Startups and smaller organizations can take these practices as examples and help tackle their problems effectively.
Problem Management is the process responsible for identifying and removing systemic issues within the IT environment impacting service availability and for managing the lifecycle of all problems. This process is very efficient in letting any organization win from situations of risk and problem occurrence.
Different types of problem management include:
* Reactive Problem Management, which is generally executed as part of Service Operation.
* Proactive Problem Management, which is initiated in Service Operation, but generally driven as part of continual service improvement (CSI).
In service departments, there is a good tendency to focus on immediate solutions to incidents instead of addressing the problems underneath. But this way, underlying problems cause even worse incidents. If you are looking for having problem management, then you must also focus on incident management. This will give you a balance that is essential in businesses and organizations. If you are finally thinking about problem management, then you should know that it isn’t that hard to achieve as well. We have brought some of the top project management practices from organizations worldwide, and they are just ready to be followed. If you are also one of the organizations that need a proper problem management solution, then the following ten best practices can help you very well.
1. Separate Your Incidents From Your Problems
It might seem quite okay to store everything in a single space. To be able to find a place somewhere, all the functions are stored at a one-stop-shop when you are busy dealing with a call. But if you separate problems from incidents and log them in their own dedicated space, it can assist you in being able to solve them better. This will imply that you have maximum clarity and transparency about the details of the problems. You will also assess the record of your investigation and an insight into the resources required to fix the Problem.
The best way to deal with problems is first to set all of them in their distinct allocations. You will be clear about the issues and will also be able to tackle the underlying problems. This will not only allow you to solve the Problem fast and save your business resources from going to waste. By solving problems fast, you will be able to get back on track of progress and be able to tackle future problems in a better way as well.
2. Define Problem Correctly
This is the stage of the problem management when you know some problem has occurred and now you want to set it right., this stage is mostly ignored by IT experts, but you shouldn’t make this mistake. This is the core stage of problem management that can help you fix problems faster in lesser resources. You need to take a reasonable amount of time to define precisely what the Problem is and where it has occurred. You can start asking questions and use their answers to define the structure and scope of the Problem hence occurred.
You will also be able to reach to the root cause of the Problem using these questions as a resource.
3. Keep A Known Error Database
Once you invest your investigative skills to test, you also get able to identify the problems and their underlying issues. Such errors that get identified are known as Known errors. Similar to incidents, problems that get known must be saved and recorded in a separate area than the problems. This is to allow you to be able to do problem management in a better fashion. You can be more dynamic in your characterization in your problem management.
By doing this, you will also be able to re-categorize errors to something more suitable after the investigation. At this time, if you make more discoveries about the problems at hand, the system will have an up to date record of your shifting priorities and your thinking.
The Known error database then becomes an understandable and accessible archive of problems and their workarounds to use in the future. Once you solve these known errors, you can then close them. After this, you will have everything distinguished from each other if you need to report on them.
4. Calculate The Value Of The Problems
Never miss this part as well. Put together the concepts of urgency and impact to measure the sequence of problems you are to solve. This is the ideal criteria to validate if a problem should be managed or not. This is also perfect to know if it is economically ideal to request a change. This reasoning will help you avoid focusing on the Problem that has a little impact on the company processes. You will also be able to avoid problem-solving that is not that big but can be costly to solve.
Problems that are bigger in value are the ones of the highest priority as they will be causing the most negative impact on your organization. You need to identify the value of the problems and start resolving them from the most priority to the lowest.
5. Use Your Metrics In Your Allies
Metrics let you obtain quite detailed statistics on the quality of the services and the efficiency of your company processes. You can use them in your favor to identify the root of the Problem. Effective alliances rely upon the capacity of people on the two sides to work as though a similar organization utilized them. For this sort of joint effort to happen, colleagues must know how their partners work: how they decide, how they dispense assets, how they share data.
6. Use The 5 Whys
You need to b proactive in the case of researching different techniques for recognizing and interrogating Problem. It would help if you challenged you tried and tested ways that can provide a different perspective. This will also give a different path to identify root causes to help identify root causes.
For example, you can adopt the 5 Whys method to lead you to ask a different question as apart from the one you asked before. While finding a cause behind the server problem, you will find these 5 Whys be a lot more helpful. Rather than developing a base conclusion, this approach makes you ask a continuous set of questions until you approach the fault. Researching different resolution methods is the type of proactive background tasks that will help pay dividends the next time an issue or Problem arises.
The 5 Whys is another name of persistently asking why something occurred. Why will always allow you always to root back to the issues that cause problems? These are the fastest ways and the most efficient methods to reach the causes of problems. It would be best if you kept asking the Whys until you find the cause of the problems and not a quick fix.
7. Have A Problem Manager
A problem manager is a person who is highly inclined and skilled in finding and solving problems and carrying out project management efficiently. Having a problem manager on board will help you immensely in solving problems fast and getting back on track effectively. This personnel will also motivate the team to the same goal.
That is not all a problem manager can do. They will also have an in-depth look at the business processes and analyze trends. This will help validate the efforts and the energy you have put in problem management. He will also help maintain momentum and a drive in the team. While also supporting the improved internal organization in problem-solving.
The Problem Manager can build up the Problem of the executive’s cycle, streamlining its effectiveness, just as proposing potential changes to improve its activity. This makes him a significant figure for the viable resolution of problems in your organization.
8. Let Your Operators Contribute, I.e., Share Knowledge
A manager is of no use if the team doesn’t have collaboration in it. You must invite the whole team to come to share their knowledge and experience. You must allow them to contribute to the overall process of problem management. This will add another interesting variation to the roles of team members. You will be able to find the root causes of problems more fastly. Before you allow your team to share their expertise, you should also know which one of them has a better experience in detecting issues and ten assign roles.
If anyone of them has been on the front line reacting to incidents, they will also have some thought-provoking insights in finding underlying problems. Using this team knowledge, you can embed cultural change that will lead to improved problem management.
9. Use The Right Tools
Your team will be far better at project management if you allow them to use the right tools for the cause. This will help them respond quickly and effectively as possible. You need to invest in such a solution that let your team be more proactive in problem management.
You can use software that can allow you to automate tasks and carry out processes based on ITIL best practices. PM best practices involve the utilization of the right tools to solve problems in the best possible way.
10. Track Events And Think Holistically
Having a known error database will track all of your identified problems in your environment. The work you are continuing to do in problem management to recognize and resolve long term issues should also be a part of your knowledge base. It will help other process areas and your team to function more effectively. You need to track the cases of problems and keep a record of incidents to know what not to do to avoid problems again.
Problem management and its practices are adaptable for all associations regardless of size, geological spread, industry, and innovation used to work each day. The compelling issue the executives aren’t something with an end date. Indeed, even the best-performing associations have occurrences. The genuinely top-notch groups are the ones who continually repeat on their cycle, improve it, and decrease the effect of issues on their associates and clients.
Associations with powerful incident management should focus on an essential problem management arrangement by actualizing a different channel for logging and managing problems. As the problem management team’s experience develops alongside the company, the cycle should develop also.
For an organization that already rehearses problem management, its desires should decrease incidents to an all-time low. This is generally feasible in a proactive way to deal with problem management. The problem manager is the paste that holds the whole group together. Specialists will lead the specialized aspect of the cycle, yet the problem manager empowers it to occur.
A simple initial phase in actualizing the problem management measure is to use a service desk tool. It should be done with the correct modules to guarantee extensive IT service desk activities and unified control of tickets, episodes, and problems. Having a smoothed out problem management measure in your association is a drawn-out project that will pay off as your business develops and your IT foundation scales.