Those who don’t learn from their mistakes are destined to repeat them: All organizations aim at learning from their mistakes, and hope to refrain from repeating them. The ITIL problem management template catalogs all of the problems which the service desk encountered over the years, and records the following –
ITIL Problem Catalogue Template
A problem is an unknown cause of multiple incidents, which stem from the same root cause. Solving a problem includes understanding said cause, and resolving it in a manner that resolves all of the incidents which stemmed from the problem. To use a simple analogy: If an incident is like a symptom, then a problem is like a disease. The problem needs to be written in clear and simple language, which explains it in laymen’s terms.
The goal of this section is to list all the employees who raised an incident that stemmed from the problem, and when they reported it. This will help in analyzing the time when the problem first appeared. The more incidents reported, the easier it will be to diagnose the problem. Hence it is recommended to repeat similar incidents in the catalog.
This part of the catalog explains in detail what the employee encountered when trying to access or use any information system in the organization. All of the incidents (symptoms) need to be listed here since the symptom list will help the service desk identify the problem and decide on the required corrective actions. This part is like a doctor who tries to identify the disease according to the list of symptoms detailed by their patients.
Corrective Action Taken
After the problem was diagnosed, the problem needs to be resolved. The corrective actions taken are what the service desk decided to do in order to achieve this. The goal of this section is to assist the service desk in resolving similar problems in the future. In case a false root cause was thought to be the problem, this should also appear here, in order to rule it out in future cases.
Like tagging in social media, this section will help in search queries in order to easily find similar symptoms for future problems. The more tags, the easier it will be to locate it.
How It Fits Into the ITIL Methodology
The main goal of the methodology is to allow the organization to focus on improving its business results while aligning the IT services with this goal. The report catalog should be used as a DB (database) for the service desk to diagnose problems which impede this goal, and thus allow the business to focus on improving their results over time.
Basic Catalogue Details
At the top of the catalog, there is a short section that needs to fill in after each addition to the catalog. This includes the following information–
- Date of the last time a problem was added to the report.
- Who added the problem (updated the catalog).
- What their role is at the service desk.
- Which team they belong to (either shift or professional alliance).