Incident vs Problem Management

sandman748sandman748 Senior MemberMember Posts: 104
As I was reading through Brandy Orand's ITIL foundations for 2011 book there was one example that leaves me confused.

The example was a user calling in to service desk to report that they were unable to print their end of month financial reports because a printer was broken. The author's solution was to assist the user in printing to a nearby computer, and close the incident as the issue with finance not being able to print their reports is resolved through the workaround.


Here's an exerpt from this book.

"People that I teach have issues with this scenario. Their main issue is the question “What about the printer?” In Incident Management, the printer is irrelevant. Incident Management is not about fixing the underlying problem, such as the printer, but about restoring service as quickly as possible through whatever reasonable means necessary."
Orand, Brady (2012-01-05). Foundations of IT Service Management with ITIL 2011 (Kindle Locations 5183-5186). ITILYaBrady. Kindle Edition.


He follows up by saying that he would come back to the printer during the problem management section but never does.

What approach would you take? To me it seems like this should have been categorized as printing services (or something to that extent), have the workaround documented, and leave the incident open until the printer is fixed. Considering this incident resolved doesn't seem reasonable to me.

Is he suggesting that the printer issue should be opened as a problem? I understand problems to be re-occuring issues, not a one-off issue with an enabling service.
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Comments

  • derkitderkit Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 5 ■■■□□□□□□□
    The incident is the fact the user can't print and the service desk has a handy workaround (the workaround is the incident management).

    The problem management is to discover the root cause of the incident and hopefully a solution. If no solution is possible, to try and minimise the issues the incident will bring up from time to time.

    There could be lots of incidents with the same printer, but if you discover the root cause on the initial look means the incident and problem management could potentially happen at the same time.
  • ChooseLifeChooseLife Senior Member Member Posts: 941 ■■■■■■■□□□
    sandman748 wrote: »
    leave the incident open until the printer is fixed. Considering this incident resolved doesn't seem reasonable to me.
    A new problem (broken printer) should be filed and addressed, but the incident is resolved since the user is able to print again.
    The reason is exactly as stated,
    Incident Management is not about fixing the underlying problem, such as the printer, but about restoring service as quickly as possible through whatever reasonable means necessary.
    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

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  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Senior Member Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    sandman748 wrote: »
    "People that I teach have issues with this scenario. Their main issue is the question “What about the printer?” In Incident Management, the printer is irrelevant. Incident Management is not about fixing the underlying problem, such as the printer, but about restoring service as quickly as possible through whatever reasonable means necessary."

    What approach would you take? To me it seems like this should have been categorized as printing services (or something to that extent), have the workaround documented, and leave the incident open until the printer is fixed. Considering this incident resolved doesn't seem reasonable to me.

    Many companies keep two databases. The customer incident would be tracked in the first, and resolved as soon as the customer was happily along his way. The technical issue would be tracked in the second, and left open. The customer incident is resolved. The network issue is not.
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