Growing up, there was an abundance of kids in the
neighborhood who were riding skateboards. As would be expected there were some
that were really good and others, like me, who were not. One summer the city brought
in a half pipe and located it at the local rec center, likely to keep us
skating in one place and out of trouble. For those who are not aware a half
pipe is a large ‘U’ shaped ramp. The fact that this was in our area was a huge
deal so everyone lined up nice and early on the first day it was open. The crowd
was enormous; everyone was eagerly waiting to get up there to try it out. The
first guy that got on this thing was a real pro, he was able to do things that
not only looked good but he made it look effortless. The next 5 or 6 people
were epic failures. The second to last guy had to be helped off the ramp by
some friends. It was at this point that the line to try it out was getting
smaller and smaller. People were realizing that this might not be as easy as it
looked and the consequences of failure were somewhat painful.
Problem management can be viewed in a similar light. Some
organizations make it look effortless, while others have a more painful
experience with it and the rest of us stand there watching on the sidelines not
wanting to try at all.
Here are some simple suggestions to get things going
The first piece of advice is that you don’t have to do
this alone. You might need to get a subject matter expert to help you
coordinate your efforts. This might involve short or longer term engagements
but getting things off on the right foot is going to be critical to get you
where you need to go. Getting some feedback from people in the IT community is
also a good place to bounce ideas around.
While I listed this tip second, it is equally as
important. Keep it simple, we don’t
need to boil the ocean, so take an agile approach and make iterative improvements.
Having small objectives will simplify the ability to achieve your goals and in
return allow you to demonstrate that you are making progress.
In the theme of keeping it simple we also want to ensure
that this is cost effective. We don’t necessarily need to hire an army of problem
managers or buy a new tool to get the job done in the beginning. While this could
be something we look into later we will allow our results and organizational
need determine that.
Tip number 4 is to plan your progression in stages that
work for your organization. Getting a cadence of activity will help will allow
teams to schedule activities in advance and work on them on allotted time
frames. Each organization will have a different appetite for what timing looks
like so go with the flow in your organization
Lastly, this is not a
‘side of the desk’ activity so ensure that you allocate the appropriate time to
complete activities. In the end it will always come back to helping the
business to achieve their goals. The business is not concerned on what ‘problem
management’ is, they care about results.
While my career as a
professional skateboarder might have never taken off, following these steps
will allow your team to get off the sidelines and make some progress to improve
or implement problem management.
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Labels: CSI, ITIL, ITSM, Problem Management