Roles and Responsibilities

Problem Management Process Owner

The Problem Management Process Owner owns the process and the supporting documentation for the process.

This includes accountability for setting policies and providing leadership and direction for the development, design and integration of the process as it applies to other applicable frameworks and related ITSM processes being used and / or adopted in the organization.

The Process Owner will be accountable for the overall health and success of the Problem Management Process.

The person fulfilling this role has end-to-end responsibility for the way in which the Problem Management process functions and develops.

The main role of the Problem Management Process Owner is to ensure that the processes are efficient,effective, and fit-for-purpose.

The identified Process Owners will work closely together to ensure integration of the ITIL disciplines and their process-flows.

Problem Manager

The Problem Managerreports to the Problem Management Process Owner and performs the day-to-dayoperational and managerial tasks demanded by the process flows.

The Problem Manager isresponsible for identifying opportunities for improvement and audits the use ofthe process on an operational level. This ensures compliance to the process bythe Support staff.

The Problem Manager isresponsible for liaising with and providing reports to other Service Managementfunctions.

They will also beresponsible for managing the output of the process according to the ServiceLevel Agreements.

They act as a guardianof the quality of the discipline and are responsible for ensuring thatprocesses are used correctly.

The Problem Manager:

  • Is a discussion partner at Functional Manager and Service Owner level within the organization
  • Understands the services that are delivered to the customers
  • Must be flexible as well as convincing, as often they do not have authority to enforce the use of the Process
  • Possesses an ITIL Foundation certificate, and must have obtained, or must be training to obtain, the Problem Management Practitioners Certificate
  • Can balance the support requirements of the business with resourcing and prioritization issues in order to ensure optimal effective business support within the available means Coordinates and guides activities of the Problem Management Team and Problem Owner(s)
  • Provides management information and uses it proactively to prevent the occurrence of incidents and problems in both production and development environments
  • Escalates the analysis and resolution of cross-functional problems to Unit and IT Enterprise levels
  • Conducts ‘post mortem’ or Post-Implementation Reviews (PIR) for continuous improvement
  • Develops and improves Problem Control and Error Control procedures

Support Group Staff

Support Groups are the technical staff who work on the Problem records to investigate and diagnose them, devise workarounds and work on permanent solutions to eliminate the Known Error.

Due to their technical expertise, it is generally accepted that it will be these support groups that will identify Problems, both reactively and pro-actively, will populate the Knowledge systems, raise Problem records and Requests for Change (RFCs) as required.

  • Investigate and resolve problems under the co-ordination of the Problem Manager and Functional Manager
  • Ensure problems are managed within their teams, providing workarounds that will resume service and devise permanent solutions to eliminate Known Errors and reduce numbers of incidents

Functional Managers

The Functional Managers have a key role to play in the Problem Management process.

As the managers responsible for the technical resources, they need to work closely with the Problem Manager to ensure that staff is available to work on the Problems encountered within the infrastructure and allocate their time accordingly.

Once the solutions toProblems have been identified, they will authorize any Changes through theChange Management process.

They will also be required to attend any Major Problem Review to identify lessons learned and ensure that the Knowledge Base is populated with the required Knowledge Article.

Service Desk

The Service Desk is a single point of contact for users when there is a service disruption, for service requests, or even for some categories of requests for change.

The Service Desk provides a point of communication to users and a point of coordination for several IT groups and processes.

  • Ensure that all problems received bythe Service Desk are recorded in CRM
  • Delegates responsibility byassigning problems to the appropriate provider group for resolution based uponthe categorisation rules.
  • Performs post-resolution customerreview to ensure that all work services are functioning properly.

Service Owner

To ensure that services are managed with a business focus, a single point of accountability is essential to provide the level of attention and focus required for its delivery.

The Service Owner is accountable for a specific service within the organization regardless of where the underpinning technology components, processes or professional capabilities reside.

The Service Owners will need to monitor closely the activities of the Problem Management process on behalf of their customers to ensure that they get the most benefit from the activities performed.

In addition they will report back on how solutions to Problems are progressing and give an indication of likely resolution times.

They also have an important role in the identification of Proactive Problem Management, as any Problems and therefore any “pain” will be felt by the user community they represent.

They may also be invited to attend Major Problem Reviews.

  • Provide initiation, transition, and support of services
  • Continual improvement and the management of change to the services

Problem Owner

The Problem Owner has ultimate responsibility for analysis and resolution of assigned problems. A Service Owner may be assigned as the Problem Owner in many cases, but this is not mandatory.

The assigned ProblemOwner must possess the appropriate management skills and authority to manageactivities across organizational boundaries.

Problem Analyst

The Problem Analysts provides skills and knowledge in a particular domain (technical, operational or application).

The Problem Analyst will use this expertise to facilitate root cause analysis of assigned problems, and the development of workarounds and/or permanent solutions with the assistance of appropriate SME’s.

Problem Reporter

Anyone within the IT Enterprise organization can request a problem record be opened.

The typical sources for problems are the Service Desk, Service Provider Groups, and other staff engaged in proactive Problem Management.

Problem Management Review Team

The Problem Management Review Team is determined on the services being supported.

It is typically composed of the technical and functional staff involved in supporting a service such as the Service Desk, Support Group Staff, Problem Analysts, Problem Owners and other staff engaged in Problem Management.

Solution Provider Group

The Solution Provider Group is determined on the services being supported and by the nature of the problem that needs remediation.

It is typically composed of the technical and functional staff such as the Problem Analyst, Problem Owners and other SMEs engaged in Problem Management.

Integration with Other Processes

The following integration between Problem Management and other processes must as a minimum be shaped, and guarded by the Problem Management Process Owner and Manager.

  • Provide details of Workarounds and resolution progress to Incident Management
  • Arbitrate where the ownership of Incidents or Problems is unclear
  • Take ownership of Major Incidents
  • Make improvement recommendations on aspects of the Incident Management process as necessary
  • Make improvement recommendations on aspects of the Configuration Management process as necessary
  • Ensure that Requests for Change (RFCs) raised by Problem Management are correctly assessed for impact and are authorized/rejected as appropriate
  • Make improvement recommendations on aspects of the Change Management process as necessary
  • Attend Change Review meetings where appropriate
  • Make improvement recommendations on aspects of the Release Management process as necessary
  • Attend Release planning meetings where appropriate
  • Consult with Security Management where appropriate to ensure all Problem resolutions and Workarounds adhere to the Security policy
  • Consult with Security Management to ensure the correct classification of Security problems
  • Ensure Problem and Major Incident information is escalated for invocation of Continuity Plans as defined within the Business Continuity policy
  • Notify Service Level Management of any potential service improvements achievable through the amendment of SLAs, Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) or Under-pinning Contracts (UPCs)
  • Notify Availability Management of any potential problems threatening the availability of Services
  • Consult with Capacity Management to devise Workarounds that can be implemented using Capacity Management sub-processes. (For example: Demand Management could be used to spread the throughput on a heavily loaded server, therefore improving the performance of that machine)


Obligation Role Description
Responsible Responsible to perform the assigned task
Accountable ( only 1 person) Accountable to make a certain work is assigned and performed
Consulted Consulted about how to perform the task appropriately
Informed Informed about the key events regarding the task
Problem Management Process Owner Problem Manager Support Group Staff Functional Managers Service Desk Service Owner Problem Owner Problem Analyst
Problem Detection C A R I R C I R
Problem Logging C A R R R R R I
Problem Categorisation C A R R R R R C
Prioritization I A R R I I R I
Investigation & Diagnosis I A C C C I R R
Workaround Decision? A R R R R I R R
Create Known Error Record A R R R R C R R
Change Needed? A R R R R C R R
Resolution I A R R R C R R
Closure I A I I I C R R
Major Problem? A R C C C C R I
Major Problem Review A R C C C I R R

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