As I mentioned in Between a Rock and a Hard Place, our team is currently on the horns of a dilemma. I likened our situation to racing on a flat tyre. Do you stop and fix, taking the hit of lost time, or do you make a best effort to keep pace, almost blindly disregarding the situation.
I’ve just finished reading Sway (Brafman & Brafman, 2008). It offers some additional insights into our situation. For example, all my engineering training has been around technology. How computers work, how software works, how to create good software, how software design works, how the software process works, etc. As far as I remember, no time was given to group dynamics. Since most non-trivial software requires a team to collaborate, one would think that taking the group into account would factor into software design and engineering. Continue reading →
In this paper we discuss approaches to Incident and Problem management within the context of IT Service Management, and its de facto standard the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). We show how the Problem Management process attempts to diagnose problem root causes by applying various analysis techniques to historical incident data.
We propose a new categorisation mechanism. We break the data free from its hierarchical categorisation scheme through the use of a free form tagging system. By allowing all system users to categorise incidents using their own terms, we show that while individuals may differ, the aggregate meta data produced for each incident stabilises.
Further, by the application of PageRank analysis to the relationships between tags and incidents, we hope to show useful and interesting correlations. While these may or may not be indicative of a causal relationship, they are nonetheless, new facts about the system under scrutiny.
We conclude by showing the system shows some merit, assuming a certain set of minimum system requirements. If these requirements can be met, then this approach, can become another tool in the system administrators’ arsenal of system analysis approaches.
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library version 1 (ITIL) was initially published by the Office of Government Commerce in the year 2000. ITIL is a broad framework of best practices which enterprises are using to manage their IT operations. This quickly grew to over 30 volumes within the library, so when ITIL version 2 came to be released a concerted effort to consolidate the processes described into logical sets was attempted. ITIL v3 continues in this vein by consolidating into five core titles: