In a recent blog posting, Rajat Sadana talked about “Business Oriented Problem Management”. He discussed applying risk management principles to Problem Management in an effort to minimize the risk of a future failure would have on business operations. In his posting, he provided an example of a bad router which was ultimately replaced. When replacing the router, the company discovered that the router was no longer supported as it was considered at the end of its life. He made a great point that prior to closing the problem, the company really needed to understand the number of routers in the organization and the
potential impact if another router failed. They needed to understand the risk and then decide on a course of action.
I would expand upon Rajat’s point about understanding the broader environment and risk by adding another step to the problem management process. Prior to closing out ANY problem record, perform a quick search of the database to see what similar problems or incidents have occurred relating to the particular category of the problem record, CI affected, and/or service affected. While some companies consider this part of normal operations, many do not. They have metrics in place which encourage closing out the problem record quickly rather than being thorough about understanding potential risks that remain in the environment.
Performing the query should only take a few minutes and it may illuminate some additional information for research and evaluation.