Chapter 9. IT Problem Management


Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.

 --Rene Descartes[1]

A problem well-stated is a problem half-solved.[2]

 --Charles Kettering

This chapter outlines the best ways to manage the IT help desk function, also known as problem management or request management.

Why This Topic Is Important

As outlined in Chapter 4, problem management is one of the major scope areas of the effective IT department. The help desk is important for a number of reasons. First, when properly implemented, it is the single point of capture for nearly all baseline support issues. As a result, it provides the best leverage for senior level resources, by triaging problems—solving easy issues rapidly and escalating difficult problems quickly. Second, because information on problem volumes and how they are handled yields so much data, it is the IT sub-area with the easiest to monitor and quantify performance. Finally, as noted in the previous chapter, outside of complete system failures, it is the area that has the largest impact on overall customer satisfaction.

Problem and Request Management

Problem and request management is the overall support infrastructure, tools, processes, procedures, policies, and organization focused on reacting to and resolving end-user problems or issues and requests. These types of problems range widely in terms of type, complexity, and urgency, and include everything from a password reset request to printer ...

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