There are at least two types of topics that people never have enough of:

a) Those topics people are big fans of and

b) Those where people never reach a conclusion!

Some thing like the ‘chicken & egg’ one? Yeah some thing like that!

We have such a ever-green topic in ITIL® : Topic on Incidents and Problems!

Isn’t really amazing that it is such a hot topic of debate, even after ITIL framework is in its 3rd version (and undergoing the next revision!) and been in wide use for more than two decades?

There are a few current hot discussions going on the same topic – just to point a few  : a) one on LinkedIn, another one at the ITskeptic site as well as one on the Pink Elephant blog. The unbelievable number of responses and replies on all those discussions (and the fact that most of those discussions are continuing without conclusion) substantiate my topic here.

Some of the key confusions that still seem to prevail are:

  1. When to initiate a problem ticket (though some still ask this question intentionally or by mistake in the notorious ‘When does Incident become problem’ way –and responses come flooding – oh no.. never….!) and most of the time one has to conclude the ever-effective ITIL response: ‘It depends’ . As I mentioned in the ITSkeptic discussion, it could be the reason, ITIL could never been very clear and prescriptive on that!
  2. Should problem investigation and resolution should happen in parallel to the incident handling or should it be post the service restoration? (One obvious factor here is whether you have different function/team for Incident and Problem management or not).

The factor of concern though, is:

The points I high-lighted above looks very basic and core factor in implementation of Incident and Problem management.  Even after such lengthened discussion across the forums, the ITIL documentation is not really addressing those basic considerations. Even a high-level guidance on the same with a couple of possibilities (as the extension or examples to the ‘it depends’ factor) would have helped in getting some kind of streamlined understanding of those in the industry.

The currently undertaken  ITIL v3 revision doesn’t seem to be addressing this – as it is not apparently one area identified in revision (as far as I could find anywhere). Hence we might have to wait for ITIL v4 to expect some kind of light at the end of the tunnel!


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