ITIL problem manager is responsible for ensuring that problems are identified, logged, and resolved promptly. The problem manager is also responsible for ensuring that known errors are recorded and managed appropriately.
The problem manager role is part of the ITIL service operations phase and ensures that problems are resolved quickly and effectively. The problem manager works closely with the incident manager to resolve problems as soon as possible.
How to become a problem manager?
Problem managers typically work in Project Management Office (PMO) or Service Delivery Management (SDM) departments. To become a problem manager, there are a few steps you can take:
- Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills: Problem managers must be able to break down large problems into smaller, understandable parts and then identify potential causes of the problems. They use various analytical tools and techniques to analyse problems and formulate solutions.
- Communication Skills: As problem managers must often explain complex ideas to non-technical stakeholders, strong communication skills are essential for success. Problem managers need to be able to express their ideas clearly and succinctly, both verbally and in written form
- Organization and Time Management Skills: Successful problem managers can prioritize tasks, manage their workloads and timelines, and remain organized even in stressful situations.
- Collaborative Skills: Problem managers must be able to work effectively with various stakeholders, including engineers, developers, and other specialists. They understand different roles, skill sets, and backgrounds and can bring disparate teams together to find creative solutions.
- Leadership Skills: Problem managers must be able to lead and motivate teams of diverse individuals to achieve their objectives. This requires strategic vision, technical expertise, and strong interpersonal skills.
- Technical Knowledge: Successful problem managers possess a deep technical understanding of their organisation's applications or services. This knowledge helps them to identify and articulate problems and to suggest solutions.
Responsibilities of Problem Manager :
- Identify and Track Problems: An ITIL problem manager should identify service-affecting problems and track all incoming incidents to assess the seriousness of the problem.
- Diagnose Problems: They should diagnose the underlying cause of service disturbances and assess the impact on the delivery systems and services.
- Identify Solutions or Workarounds: To resolve the problem, the manager should identify a suitable workaround or propose potential solutions that can be implemented.
- Action Plans: Problem managers should create and implement action plans to resolve incidents and ensure appropriate resources are in place.
- Communication and Collaboration: They should collaborate with the relevant stakeholders during the problem-resolution process, such as technical teams, vendors, and users. They should also keep all stakeholders informed about the progress of the resolution and any potential risks.
- Root Cause Analysis: Defining and analyzing the root cause of the problem is an essential duty of an ITIL problem manager. By performing a root cause analysis.
Tools used by a Problem Manager
The tools used by problem managers are not just limited to problem-solving. In fact, problem manager tools can be used for various purposes, such as analyzing data, communicating with stakeholders, and creating reports.
Some of the most popular problem manager tools include:
- Flow Charts: Flow charts are process diagrams that represent how data or a process flows through a system. They are used to help analyze issues and offer solutions to problems. These charts typically contain boxes linked together with arrows that show users the sequence of steps necessary to achieve a desired outcome.
- Process Maps: Process maps are also known as swimlane diagrams. This type of diagram shows a process as a series of activities or tasks with arrows connecting them. They identify potential problems and quickly and efficiently find solutions within a process quickly and efficiently.
- Cause-and-Effect Diagrams: Cause-and-effect diagrams are used to identify and analyze the root causes of a problem. They often use arrows to connect the causes that lead to an effect. By analyzing the causes of an issue, problem managers can accurately identify the root problem before attempting to solve it.
- Fishbone Diagrams: Fishbone diagrams are used to identify the potential causes of a problem. This type of diagram looks like the backbone of a fish and is used to help identify relationships between variables contributing to the issue.
- Whys: The five whys technique is a simple yet powerful tool used to uncover the true root cause of a problem quickly. This technique involves asking "why" five times consecutively, each time digging deeper into the problem.
- Pareto Analysis: Pareto Analysis is the 80/20 rule. This technique is based on the idea that 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. This tool is used to identify the key causes responsible for the most significant problems and prioritize actions based on their impact.