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Incident/Problem Manager - Question

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:34 am
by magicmagpie
Hi All,

Quick question

I’m responsible for recruiting an Incident Manager role, however the Problem Manager is not under my remit as Service Delivery Manager. I understand the differences between Incident and Problem but what are the main concerns regarding Incident and Problem Manager having the same role (1 person). I know ITIL suggests they should be separate roles but I know for a fact we don’t get that many major incidents to keep the Incident Manager busy full time, what’s the issue if I employee an Incident/Problem Manager (1 person) if the successful applicant fully understands the role and responsibilities of both functions?


Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:23 am
by baloutang
There may come a time when they are conflicted with themselves.

Incident managers want to triage and get the service up and running regardless of how it's done.

Problem managers are not as reactive. They want to delve in deeper and rather than just "restarting" the service, they would look want to capture log files and try to figure why it happened in the first place.

It probably can be done with one person, but then how effective will your Incident or Problem management be in the end.

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:25 pm
by AnandSancheti
While its recommended that we have 2 different individual performing Incident & Problem Management Role, its not always feasible in given team for various reasons .... most common being "available FUNDING". In such cases its not uncommon to have same person acting as Incident Manager / Problem Manager.

I & another Member of my team, acted as Incident/ Problem Manager for last year. We wanted to have backup for each other and available funding was only for 2 FTEs :)

Incident manager

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:33 am
by MadhavaVermaDantuluri
I am performing the role of Incident manager also in my current job and my primary roles are:
1. Responsible for approving the incident to S1/P1 which involves downtime of environment.
2. Informing to customers and top executives regarding any outage and backup plans.
3. Owning the responsibility of top ten customer incidents and track the progress daily.
So many more...

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:08 am
by ChangingMan
I would think unless you are in an extremely busy environment that the two roles are not mutally exclusive.

The advantage of the PM also being the IM is that the PM/IM is fully aware of what was uncovered during the incident also all the steps taken to restore service.

Having worked as a PM for several years we often found during RCA that much of the granular detail of the incident was lost (i.e. not recorded on the incident or problem ticket).

In many organisations the Incident and Problem management role are combined, this is not bad practice and is based on the business needs and requirements.

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:01 pm
Changing Man

Having 1 person doing 2 roles - Incident & Problem Manager - which has contradictory purposes is NOT best practice according to IT SM Best practice - ITIL

Incident management is restore service now
Problem management is find the cause of the incident.

If the IM goal is NOT restore service now, then the company is failing their customers

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:13 am
by ChangingMan
Obviously during the course of an incident restoring service is the priority, but I fail to see why once service is restored the IM can't then put his PM hat on and work to identify root cause?

I previously spent 3 years working as a Problem Manager in a large enterprise environment with separate IM and PM functions. Personally I found the delay in the incident being wrapped up, closed and a problem ticket raised a hindrance to RCA.

Often key information was lost, overwritten or not recorded and this directly increased the "No Fault Found" closure category. I'm sure I don't have to explain that this is the worse conclusion to any problem investigation.

At this stage I want to be clear, I'm not saying it is certainly better for the IM/PM role to be combined. I am mearly stating that it could work well given the right processes and people.
In many of the big financial organisations in the UK the roles are successfully combined, it a matter of what is right for the individual business and not what is written in 15 year old ITIL doctrine.

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 1:59 am
Changing Man

ITIL was last updated 3 years ago and all processes were reviewed / updated

You are correct that if the processes and the mgmt design the process etc for iM & PM correctly and the individual can separate the roles, of course it can be done.

It is not ideal... but if it works .. it works