Problem - An undesirable situation, indicating the unknown root cause of one or more existing or potential incidents.
In an ideal world your 1st line service desk operators would resolve the majority of reported incidents straight away, after all, deferring investigation and allowing a malfunctioning system to continue during business critical periods is not ideal, but this outcome is not always possible and weaknesses in your IT infrastructure may persist or reoccur.
Problem Management aims to provide long term value to the business by identifying the root cause of issues and deciding how to limit their impact. Effective Problem Management will significantly reduce the number of incidents being reported and the impact of these on your business. The process can be both reactive and proactive:
Reactive Problem Management responds to incidents that have already occurred and seeks to cure the underlying symptoms.
Proactive Problem Management identifies potential problems before they emerge. Problem managers focus on trend analysis, looking for weaknesses in your IT infrastructure.
Identification is key and NetSupport ServiceDesk provides the necessary mechanisms to enable problem managers to gather all related background information by interrogating the Incident Database to find related items. The workflow processing within NetSupport ServiceDesk then comes into play to ensure the problem is tracked, managed and communicated through to the point where the root cause is identified.
The next phase of Problem Management is to deal with the 'known error'. This could involve the problem manager providing a workaround that enables the affected user to continue working while investigations to find a permanent resolution take place.
Responsibility for continuing the process will usually fall on Change Management.