The 5 “Must Haves” of a Problem Management System

Imagine being able to log into your help desk knowing you won’t encounter several users with the exact same, all too common issue. A good problem management system takes your help desk from a reactionary scramble to fix a problem for a user, to a proactive approach based on finding and solving the underlying problem causing issues, so you can spend less time dealing with it in the future. 

A problem management system makes your organization more efficient and your users better able to find productivity in all they do, as it decreases incident numbers and severity, and allows for the kind of investigation and resulting change that mitigates similar issues going forward. 

To be clear, a problem management system is both reactive, working to address the root cause of multiple known issues, and proactive, to identify, solve, and prevent issues before they arise. Both approaches call for a robust problem management system — so here’s what to look for.

Problem Logging

Your problem management system of choice needs to have the ability to log problems and issues in detail. It is this information that gives IT staff the details they need to dig into the problem, understand how frequently it’s happening and what seems to be triggering the issue, and if there are any other associated incidents or trends. 

The logging system should also allow for categorization and prioritization. Critical problems in an important category (issues that impact sales, for example) should be handled more urgently than non-critical issues, so your logging system needs to reflect that severity.

Known Error Database

The known error database is an integral part of problem management. Your system not only needs to have this database in place, but its purpose must also be communicated to those who should be using it. 

This database describes every known issue in your system. It is where the logging information is held, along with known workarounds for problems. These aren’t the permanent solutions your team will ultimately work to implement, but they are a way to get your users through the worst of it and back to using the system until a permanent fix is found and introduced. 

Status Reporting

Especially if a problem is critical or severe, It is essential to be able to check on its status. It is also crucial that the status report is accurate and up to date. Your problem management system should include easily accessible, detailed, and timely status reporting so everyone is working on the same page when addressing a problem.

Change Management Integration

When your team determines the right corrective action to handle an ongoing or recurrent problem, or the solution to an issue you’re working to prevent, it is best to set it in motion quickly. Introducing changes to your system and processes can be challenging unless you have a strong change management system in place as well.

Look for a problem management system that integrates with change management seamlessly, so you can push the solution through the change process quickly and efficiently. 

Metrics Reporting

One important element of problem management is using metrics reports to see the total number of problems, the breakdown of problems at each stage of use, the size of your current problem backlog, and the number and percentage of major problems. 

With this information, your team can keep an eye on how well your problem management system and techniques are working to address the issues your organization faces. For example, if the backlog keeps ballooning, or the percentage of major problems is increasing, it is clear your approach is not working as well as it could be.

This is not an exhaustive list of every feature a problem management system should contain, but it is definitely a strong starting point no matter what your industry is, what your users do, and whether your organization and user base is small or large. By investing in problem management, you can do more with your time and resources, to ensure longer-term productivity and operations that run as smoothly as possible without the frustration of repeated problems, errors, and issues. 

GroupLink Corporation’s problem management module and process allows everything HelpDesk technicians to handle issues in a unified, standardized, repeatable manner, both reactively and proactively. Your IT team will save time and resources through eliminating recurring problems and preventing issues, and minimizing the impact of any problems that are not preventable. To take advantage of this robust problem management system, get in touch with us with our convenient online form, call us at 801-742-8386, or email us at info@grouplink.net. Our team is looking forward to working with you to maximize your organization’s efficiency, quality, and customer service.

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