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.
Business Process Engineering (BPR) began life in the early 1990s. Barothy, Peterhans, & Bauknecht (1995) give a good introduction to the state of Business Process Reengineering at the time, stating:
Over the last few years we have observed the emergence of a new field or phenomenon in MIS practice and research: Business Process Reengineering (BPR). Since the publication of Michael Hammer’s article “Reengineering Works: Don’t Automate, Obliterate” in 1990, reengineering became a new and hot “buzzword” in management. Despite a lack of clear understanding organisations of today cling to it as the ultimate panacea in order to realise major improvements in productivity, quality, time and profitability. They also see reengineering as a way to adapt their business to faster changing environment and as a new paradigm in the deployment of information technology (IT). In order to sell services, consulting companies never tire of glorifying success stories like the reengineering of Ford’s accounts payable, or Mutual Benefit Life’s insurance applications process both resulting in “order of magnitude” improvements. But companies also learn the hard way that the radical redesign of business processes, by fundamentally rethinking the way business is done, bears major risks, is a highly complex change task, and may easily end in failure.
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: