Problem Management Success – Start Using Causal Closing Codes

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Many organisations struggle to make
Problem Management work effectively.

For me there are a number of reasons for this – many to do with getting the right people to do the right job.

One key area which is vital to develop for this is reporting, particularly to start to really identify underlying causes and trends – e.g. for incidents. If you close your incidents off against the initial (logging) categories that you’ve used to identify the incident, you may miss the reason why the incident actually happened. So closing against ‘software’ may be useless to you if the cause was actually a user or 3rd party error.

So it’s important and useful to use separate ‘closing’ categories or ‘causes’ for logging categories or impact etc. – these are different things.

Here is a suggested list of closing or ’cause’ codes to help you to identify trends and make some sense and provide MI around root cause etc.

Known/Standard Error

  • existing issue, fault or request known, with workaround to maintain service

Process Failure 

  • no relevant process
  • process not adequate
  • governance – process not followed

Resource Issue

  • Skill/knowledge issue
  • Availability issue

External Issue

  • 3rd party system issue
  • environment issue

User Issue

  • user error
  • training issue
  • Policy issue

Hardware Failure

  • xxx as required

Security issue

  • password reset
  • access issue

Systems Issue

  • networks
  • infrastructure
  • operating systems failure
  • xxx as required

Software Issue

  • design issue
  • build issue
  • test issue
  • service introduction issue

Contract/Commercial Issue
Information

  • technical information given
  • ‘how to ‘ question answered

Request or Order Fulfilled

Cause Unidentified

  • service resumed, cause unknown

(Optional to be used by limited SD people only) usually should be passed to problem management, but in some cases the cause is unknown. To be used with care and to avoid having ‘other’ as an option.

How effective is the reporting in your area of influence right now?

Are you already using causal closing codes?

Do they work for you and if so, which ones in particular?

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  1. […] suggests one important thing to do in order to get the most out of a problem management exercise. Problem Management Success – Start Using Causal Closing Codes (BarclayRae […]

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