ITSM in Cherry Valley

I'm getting lots of positive feedback about my series of articles for The ITSM Review, which use a train crash in Cherry Valley, Illinois as a case study for understanding incident and problem management. (It is part of a wider theme of my articles for The ITSM Review using railroad examples for service management).

It always mystifies me that people (and ITIL) don't grok this simple model: incident management is about users, problem management is about causes.

Incident management is
not a data model
not a process
not a team
not a policy
not goals and metrics
Incident management is ALL OF THEM - the incident practice.

Once you use that proper perspective then I hope you stop trying to stuff things into incident management that have nothing to do with restoring the user experience.

The team who work on incidents are skilled in making users happy, and focused on that, not debugging technical causes of incidents.

If all the people who work on incidents do not collaborate as a team, whether they are distributed across organisational units or not, you have a fundamental issue.
And if you do not have a single view of all problems as a portfolio (across organisational units), with a manager determining their relative priorities and allocating resources, then your problem resolution practice will be sub-optimal.

We need a clear measure of how good we are at maintaining the user experience. A focused incident management practice gives us that.

Conversely, we need to manage our programme of work to manage the risks of problems, and to systematically eliminate them. We can only do that if we centrally manage ALL causes of incidents in one place, within the problem practice.

Blurring the delineation between problem and incident practices, as ITIL does, undermines all this. It's all in Cherry Valley - go look.

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