Major Incident

Discussion on issues related directly or largely to ITIL problem management.
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baloutang
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Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:07 pm

Hello,

I'm implementing ITIL within our organization and management has a feeling tha Major Incidents belong within Problem. The assumption is that when a Major Incident occurs and SLAs are breached then it should be handed over to Problem management to "restore service and/or work with a team to figure out how to restore service". The reasoning behind all of this is that the Problem Manager has more technical knowledge than the Incident manager. This organization has identified the Problem Manager as the technical guru and not the Incident Manager, therefore the Problem manager is the most appropriate resource to bring teams together.

I view that Major Incidents stay within Incident Management and continue to work in that fashion and not be handed over to Problem.

Has anyone dealt with this before? If so, how were you able to implement that cultural change as to "why" Major Incidents should remain within Incident Management and not Problems.

Thanks


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Cking
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Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:48 pm

When I set up an Incident Management process, I stressed that I was defining Roles and Responsibilities. The People that filled those roles could change at any time.

This way, whoever is fulfilling the "Problem Manager" ROLE can certainly step in to help with the Incident Management process (hopefully putting politics aside) and still keep the activities within the IM process.

This also helps to step away from particular titles such as "Network Engineer" or "Help Desk Technician", or specific people's names in the documentation.

Operational Definitions also clarify what is meant by a Problem and an Incident . . . or an Event. I'm in the process now of educating our staff on those terms :wink:
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Diarmid
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Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:36 am

Cking is correct. You can deal with this by having a major incident procedure that, amongst other things, states that all necessary technical and management skills will be brought to bear on the major incident. And by defining the skill and authority level/scope for the individual required to manage the major incident.

You could bear in mind that, perhaps, a major incident manager requires a modicum of technical expertise and a bucket load of management, planning, decision-making, co-ordinating and liaising skills and good understanding of the business perspective.

It would probably be best if any IT services manager could manage a major incident by following the major incident procedure, rather than the problem management procedure. After all, can you wait for your problem manager to return from holidays?
"Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
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pk_
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Wed May 19, 2010 4:50 am

I'd imagine the Problem Manager would also have more experience of managing the various 3rd party and/or internal resolution groups, and would have built up a stronger relationship with them through PM activities.

Depending on the scale of the Major Incident and the structure of the company this would probably come in handy
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aulvin
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Mon May 24, 2010 9:06 pm

Dear all,

Regarding this major incident that require longer resolution time, if it is decided to create problem ticket for this, can we closed the incident? So that the monitoring will be done thru problem ticket..

Cheers,
Aulvin
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Diarmid
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Mon May 24, 2010 9:21 pm

aulvin,

problem management is unlikely to be geared up for service restoration since it is normally set up to investigate underlying causes and identifying solutions. Neither its processes nor its people are likely to be used to working to fix a downed system.

If you close the incident (presumably with an attribute of "not fixed") how will you ever restore the service? (theoretically speaking).

The problem ticket has nothing to do with the resolution of the incident.
"Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
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viv121
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Wed May 26, 2010 10:23 am

Do we have failed incidents in that case?
regards,

Vivek
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jpgilles
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Thu May 27, 2010 3:02 am

To me, whether or not a problem is open does not change IM's responsibility.

But you can probably adapt your IM process so that , in rare cases of a majour outage, for which no way to restore the service is identified, the incident is escalated to PM as a URGENT PROBLEM so it is investigated immediately and lead to a Urgent change to implement a work around tat will allow to resolve the incident and let the problem (now a knwon error) move to a normal status.

I think it realyy depends how you are organised, but the idea of involving groups or people that deal with long term investigations and technical aspects in the resolution of incidents that need speed and business ficus needs to seriously thought at befor implementation.

rgds
JP
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Diarmid
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Thu May 27, 2010 7:35 am

JP,

I know it is different for different organizations, but I would be inclined to rope in the "clever" problem people as needed to work on the incident and therefore keep it under incident management which is geared up to the right focus for the sense of urgency, and can remain answerable for progress.

It is important to understand the difference between incident (investigation and resolution) activities and incident management.
"Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
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