As we talk about the challenges brought on by agile development and continuous integration, we often focus on the way these methodologies make change management important for organizations. More frequent, iterative application releases, updates and patches lead to more changes within the configuration, and you need to be prepared to support those changes quickly and efficiently in order to keep production teams running smoothly. However, all of these advances can be undermined if you fail to establish effective problem management policies along the way.
Solving Problems Key to Real Progress
For the average IT department, having the support team tackle incidents that are interfering with end-user productivity is a huge priority, and putting out these proverbial operational fires is a huge point of emphasis. Change management is a natural solution choice as well, as companies need to be able to handle IT change without taking on excess risk or slowing time to market for new solutions. Problem management tends to slip into the background in this functional climate.
In many ways, problem management ends up being treated as the thing that everybody wants to do, but nobody has time to deal with. This is where a cultural change is needed, and a good IT service desk will give you the tools you need to ease the cultural shift by simplifying problem management. In the end, dealing with the potential operational disruption caused by adding new functionality to the ITSM suite is critical because problem management lets you resolve the underlying issues that lead to common incidents, making it easier for your support teams to put more time and effort into high-thinking tasks.
A problem management platform will analyze patterns in the incidents that come to the service desk to identify patterns in the issues users are facing. With that information, support workers can identify the incidents that are indicative of an underlying problem and start to work on what needs to be done to achieve a successful resolution. In the end, this process comes down to fixing flaws within the IT configuration so that end-users won't continue to run into common issues.
Considering the Value of Problem Management in Light of Accelerated IT Operations
Agile development and continuous integration are coming together to force IT teams to operate more quickly. They need to get solutions into production efficiently and ensure those systems are stable enough to support operations without creating excess risk. All of this progress toward a flexible, responsible IT department can be hindered if your end users and support teams are having to constantly deal with the same types of incidents and glitches all the time. These types of issues are a sign of underlying instability within the configuration and will continually come up until the underlying problem is dealt with.
You can work hard to accelerate IT operations, particularly when it comes to change and release management, but if users are frequently running into issues on a day-to-day basis, the productivity gains are lost. Problem management helps you to identify the core issues that are causing users to run into the types of incidents that lead to productivity losses and resolve them. This, in turn, lets your support team handle a lower volume of tickets, meaning they can solve other incidents in a more streamlined, thoughtful way. These gains trickle down to the end-user by allowing them to work as efficiently as possible without running into tech issues, which makes your efforts to accelerate development and release processes more valuable.