Problem management is the part of IT service management that strives to both resolve problems caused by end-user or IT infrastructure issues, and to prevent these incidents from recurring.
Remember: a problem is not the same as an incident. An incident is something that disrupts normal operations. A problem is an underlying issue that causes incidents. Naturally, you’re better off tackling the underlying problem rather that dealing with incidents over and over. Problem management can swing into action either after a problem occurs, or when risks show that a problem could develop. As for problem users, nobody has to tell you who they are. They’re the people who:
- Take over mouse control when you’re remotely accessing their workstations
- Blame previous help desk actions for all current computer problems
- Always have “quick questions” which are never quick and are often not questions
- Refuse to submit a tickets, preferring to corner you in the hallway or call you
Problem management is one of the keys to keeping problem users under control. Here are four reasons why problem management helps you with problem users.
1. Because Problem Management Can Prevent Problems
A great problem management system lets you streamline the problem discovery process with powerful tools like trend analysis. Good problem management tools let you find patterns in data concerning incidents so that you can suss out problems before they can cause major hassles (like lectures from those problem users who want to tell you why the broken printer on the second floor is somehow tied to the new timekeeping software the company installed).
2. Because a Good Problem Management System Detects Problems More Quickly
A good problem management solution includes procedures for recording, categorizing, investigating, diagnosing and escalating incidents. When you can look at incident histories and determine that a disproportionate number of them fall into one category, you can see if there is an underlying reason for these incidents and if so, find a work-around or a permanent solution that will prevent that type of incident in the future. This means less gristle for the problem users to chew on.
3. Because It Treats Causes, Not Symptoms
If you get a seemingly-endless stream of tickets from people whose passwords suddenly don’t work (despite a self-service password change portal), the real solution isn’t getting through two hundred different password change tickets. The real solution is determining if some underlying problem caused everyone’s password to stop working, and if so, to fix that problem and then let end users fix their passwords through a self-service portal.
4. Because You’re Not Allowed to Kill Problem Users
Every company has problem users, from the technologically impaired to the user with just enough IT knowledge to make him think he can tell the service desk how to do their jobs to the people who are just plain jerks. Unless they’re engaging in activities that could be considered fireable offenses, you’re going to have to deal with them. The best way is to manage underlying IT problems so that they have less reason to ruin your day. A great problem management solution saves time, money, and sanity.
Leading IT service management software provider Samanage includes powerful problem management tools in its IT service management solutions. You can discover problems quickly, analyze trends in incidents, and tie relevant incidents to possible problems so you can develop a comprehensive approach to addressing problems. You can even use terrific graphic tools, like fishbone charts and tree diagrams, to help you locate the root of a problem so you can tackle it once and for all. With Samanage, you’re not just tracking inventory and resolving help desk tickets, you’re developing insight into underlying problems that could be hurting productivity, and you’re finding solutions that work long term and keep problem users from spreading their misery.