Episode III: How You Can Use Problem Management as a Force for Good
Christopher Morgan is a Senior Solution Consultant with EasyVista, a provider of IT Service Management software platforms that help organizations consumerize their IT. This is a three-part essay on the value of having a Problem Management process in place, set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
Today we conclude our story of how Darth Vader should have used ITIL Problem Management processes to save his empire from the Rebel Alliance.
Rushing the Project
In Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader makes an unexpected visit to the command of the construction and informs his admiral that both he and the Emperor himself are, “unpleased with the apparent lack of progress." Without fully understanding the details of construction, Vader uses fear and intimidation to convince the corps to “double their efforts.”
“The Emperor asks the impossible” and “I need more men,” while reasonable requests, fall on deaf ears and are ignored. This is coupled with the known fact that Vader has a propensity to Force-choke those who disagree with him.
Was this shifting the best use of resources? Did Vader really understand the project? It clearly did not result in a positive outcome. Vader should have relied on his ground commanders to set key project goals and critical path outcomes. Perhaps it would have made more sense to devote resources to build a second, secret shield generator to protect the armada.
Problem Management is not a “put out the fire” exercise and that cannot be the mindset. Problems take months or years at times to complete. We need to make sure such expectations are set to the business and appropriate SLAs are in place to be congruent.
Not Asking for Help!
Let’s be honest, even the Dark Lord of the Sith doesn’t have all the answers. With any Problem Management process, you need to engage your team and other teams and form an alliance for good results.
A massive mistake with Problem Management is when an organization keeps it within the Service Desk. It’s a process that belongs in a cross-discipline area of IT. Incidents, Events, Security Incidents are all related here and have to be tied back together and linked to the Problem. Only then will you have the power to defeat the issues.
I find that Problem Management scares many organizations and all too often it’s not included in an implementation plan. Problem Management, when done effectively, is a force multiplier and a great investment for a maturing IT organization.
Ask us how we can help with a Problem Management tool and plan for your empire and the Force can be strong in your enterprise too.