Incident/Problem Management and 3rd Party Suppliers

Discussion on issues related directly or largely to ITIL problem management.
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Melvin
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Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:07 am

Hello,


imagine the following situation: There is a company running a software system. For sure, all incedents regarding the system should go to incdient management or service desk.

The company also has a special group of employees that is resposible for the maintenance of the system. So, today it is possible to submit an error to this team or the service desk. Its clear that is not good. And all incidents concerning this system should be gathered by the incident management.

And now there is also the developers of this software as a 3rd party suppliers who do the bug fixes and provide patches and releases. This devolopers a contacted by the previous described maintanance group (the help deks is not involed).

So, my question is where to set in the problem management? Is that the 'special maintenance group'? Or do I even dont need this group anymore and should route the problems directly from the help desk to the developers of the 3rd party company? Or are they both involved in this problem management?

Thank you,
Melvin


PS: Sorry, for my bad English. I'm from Germany
Last edited by Melvin on Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.


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abu1
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Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:35 am

ITIL is a framework. and not allways applicable in every workplace.
From your question there is no need for a structure just for this one product. I have woeked in small organisations which tried to impliment ITIL but just was not practical and needed. Incidens/problems were resolved by the IT team made up of 5-10 people..

ITIL works good in larg organisations which have enough incidends and complex IT to warrant specific job title such as incident manager or problem manager.
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Melvin
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Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:14 am

The company I am talking about has about 3.000 employees. So the company is 'middle large'.

In this case there is one 'special maintenance team' for each 3rd party supplier software system. Maybe I should have mentioned this. The helpdesk of course has also to deal with technical infrastructure, networking, servers and databases.

The problem is that the help desk is not involved in this work of the special groups and is not able to give a user a response concerning the system problems.
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UKVIKING
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Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:35 am

Melvin

here is how is should be done

The company has a software product that has issues - incidents
This is handled via Incident Mgmt and the SD

If the incident is determined to be a failure with the software and the software needs a fix, then this is actually.... problem mgmt

A parallel problem mgmt process is started and manged by that special group.

The PM process also involves application defect mgmt (ADM) as a subset process for PM.

The special group uses the PM and ADM to assign work to the external company who develops the solution.

As part of the ADM process, there has to be a test environment not under the control of the external company that is used to test any fixes

Then, when the testing is completed and successfully - involving release management, then change mgmt is involved to approve and deploy the fix

once all this is done, the problem is reviewed to determine if the fix solves the problem - if so the problem is closed
same goes for the incident
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Melvin
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Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:49 am

Hello UKVIKING,

thanks you very much for your answer. I got it now.

But as you mentioned test. There is nother question that came up. Of course, the software vendor has his own procedure to test the fixes before they are released.

If I understand ITIL correctly there are to test phases. One in the change mgmt that validates in a special test environment if the fix is working as it should and the second in the release management that gives after the implementation a feedback to change management.

What I ask myself is, who in my scenario should be the one that provides the test plans and test scenrios.


Melvin
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UKVIKING
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Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:56 am

melvin

ITIL is a guide not a requirements document

The test environment that the 3rd party dhas is a unit test

you need an environment like the production environment where you can test the impact of the solution on the entire application suite in its entirety
John Hardesty
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Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Melvin
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Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:05 am

ITIL is a guide not a requirements document
Yes, it's just a framework and I know there are things that I cant implement as ITIL describes, because every organization has its individual requirements, but I want to assure that I get it right.
UKVIKING wrote:melvin

ITIL is a guide not a requirements document

The test environment that the 3rd party dhas is a unit test

you need an environment like the production environment where you can test the impact of the solution on the entire application suite in its entirety
It has unit tests and integrationtests. That means they have a special test environment where full systems tests are done. But of course this is not enough for there can different behaviours in the real production environment occure.

So, there must be tests on the costumer side as well. Spoken in software engineers terms this is called 'acceptance test.'

This is what I meant.

you need an environment like the production environment where you can test the impact of the solution on the entire application suite in its entirety
So, the change mgmt needs an environment to check the effects of the fixes? And the release mgmt is doing the functional tests in the production environment?
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Diarmid
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Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:05 pm

Melvin wrote:So, the change mgmt needs an environment to check the effects of the fixes? And the release mgmt is doing the functional tests in the production environment?
This may seem a bit like quibbling, but I find that fairly precise wording often helps to clarify things.

Change managment does not "need" a test environment - it's the testing that needs a test environment (you might say test managment needs a test environment). Change managment involves confirming that appropriate testing has been carried out with positive results.

I think it is similar for release management, but perhaps people do conflate things here. I would say that release management may do a release test (in a suitable test environment) to ensure that release activity is properly designed, but that functional testing will be complete before it reaches release management.
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