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Underlying Problems

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:04 am
by victoria
Hi gues,

I am thinking today about incidents and problems. For me as a "new itilier" is still hard to realize where exactly the border is. According to Itil Operations book, problem is the cause of one or more incidents. When we resolve an incident at some point we find the cause (or the underlying problem) and we are starting to work on resolving that problem so it will not generate any more incidents. So far so good! That means for me that every incident has an underlying problem, sometimes we know it from the beginning, sometimes not. And that arise my doubts. Do we need to register a problem for every incident? If we know the cause at the moment we are informed about an incident what should we register and work on - incident or problem?
Appreciate your help.

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:25 am
by rpmason
Welcome to arguably one of the most confusing aspect of ITIL Service Support (or Service Operations). I've seen a couple discussions that went on for seemingly weeks.

Check the "Does a Major Incident automatically lead to the creation of a problem record?" discussion within LinkedIn's "ITIL v2 / v3 Service Management (ITSM) and ISO 20000 + Subgroups" for more information than you want.

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:48 am
by Diarmid

that discussion is almost an advanced course all on its own.

There are at least 6 candidate threads right here and going no further back than last July that also probably help: "Problem v's Incident", "Incident to Problem", "At least one incident ticket must be associated to a problem", "Couple of basic problem management questions!", plus some more you can find easily by their titles.


Be aware from the start that some "experts" insist that any incident should spark off a problem record unless there is already one open that covers it. Others say that that is rubbish and both sides back up their case by referring to ITIL. The most important points are to work out what your own situation requires and don't forget that different people see a different scope for what constitutes a problem.

Two further related "advanced courses" in the same Linkedin group are "What is the root cause in this scenario?" and "Is there a problem in ITIL definition of Problem Management?"

By advanced course, I mean there is an awful lot of reading to do and some of the contributors have strong opinions and you have to sort the wheat from the chaff yourself. Still you've got all weekend now :)

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:03 am
by rpmason
Diarmid, you're right. I only searched my email for the info; I didn't re-read any of it.

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:42 am
by Diarmid
Don't blame you, Ruth. It goes on a bit, but there is good material in it and some good contributors even if some of them seem full of themselves at times.