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Problem Management (ITIL 4)

Parent Process Reference Framework: ITIL 4

Service Value Stream Activities

Highly impacted Service Value System(SVS) Activities:

  • Deliver and Support
  • ImproveĀ 


The purpose of the problem management practice is to reduce the likelihood and impact of incidents by identifying actual and potential causes of incidents, and managing workarounds and known errors.

  • Problem:  A cause, or potential cause, of one or more incidents.
  • Known error: A problem that has been analysed but has not been resolved.

Every service has errors, flaws, or vulnerabilities that may cause incidents. They may include errors in any of the four dimensions of service management. Many errors are identified and resolved before a service goes live. However, some remain unidentified or unresolved, and may be a risk to live services. In ITIL, these errors are called problems and they are addressed by the problem management practice.

Problems are related to incidents, but should be distinguished as they are managed in different ways:

  • Incidents have an impact on users or business processes, and must be resolved so that normal business activity can take place.
  • Problems are the causes of incidents. They require investigation and analysis to identify the causes, develop workarounds, and recommend longer-term resolution. This reduces the number and impact of future incidents.
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