Argument on INcident and Problem

Discussion on issues related directly or largely to ITIL problem management.
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:00 pm

Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:23 pm

Having big discussion on what is an incident and what is a problem. I have the standard definitions and am trying to make people understand the difference. Here is my challenge.

During the incident process where we are resolving service as quickly as possible, there is a communication that is send out for major incidents. This will outline what was done until the incident is resolved. In a lot of cases we have been able to identify the root cause and restore service.

The incident report which outlines the event, the timeline, and restoration to the incident is part of incident management.

Then there is a second report which contains the above as well root cause, impacts, multiple tickets associated to the event, and preventative actions to ensure this issue does not occur again - which is problem management.

Is there any experience out there that would identify I am incorrect or need some clarification.

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Senior Itiler
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:00 pm
Location: England

Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:20 pm

Yes you are correct with your understanding.
Problem management deals with preventing incidents from occurring with Incident Management being in place to restore an IT service ASAP.

From experience when performing an audit of our Datacentre as Configuration Manager, spotting single points of failure being one of the tasks.
Servers fitted with a single power supply unit were deemed as having a “single point of failure”. Servers were upgraded with “dual” power supplies.
This being a problem management exercise to prevent an IT incident from occurring.
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ITIL Expert
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:00 pm
Location: FRance

Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:33 am

Sorry to be late in answering...I don't spend as much time on this forum as I used to ...

As a former ITIL trainer, I found out that the difference between incident management and problem management is one of the most difficult concepts for IT guys to understand... as for most of them "you cannot resolve an incident if you do not know the cause".

So I got used to explain the concept with real life examples. Here is one of them:
I have to drive my son to school for 8.00am. Unfortunately my car does not want to start (nothing happens when I turn the key). This is an INCIDENT. My priority then is not to understand WHY the car does not work but HOW I can provide my son with the service he is expecting: being driven to school. I can alternately take my wife's car, or ask a neighbor to drive my son. Any of this SOLUTIONS will work and RESOLVE the incident, without even having started any investigation about the cause of the incident.
now I know my car has a PROBLEM (if I do nothing, I may face the same incident tomorrow) that needs to be investigated, either by me or an expert who will identify the CAUSE , propose a solution. The solution might need to be implemented by a CHANGE (example: dead battery to be replaced).
That allows also to introduce the concept of change management (with impact analysis: compatibility, schedule , cost, ...).

hope this can help.
JP Gilles
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