A problem is a condition from numerous incidents that are related or have common issues. Problem management is the process responsible for managing the lifecycle of all problems that happen or could happen.

The primary objectives of problem management are:

  • To prevent problems and resulting incidents from happening
  • To eliminate recurring incidents
  • To minimize the impact of incidents that cannot be prevented

It may take several incidents to occur before Problem Management has enough data to understand the root cause. After Problem Management identifies the factor and develops a workaround, the problem becomes a “known error.”

Problem management processes activities in the following way:

  1. Problem diagnosis and resolution - Achieved by categorization, prioritization and root cause identification. This may include a change request to resolve the Problem.
  2. Determination of workaround - Workarounds are provided to reduce service interruptions until Problem is resolved.
  3. Documentation of known errors - Known errors are added to Knowledge Base including related incidents and relevant workarounds.

ITIL defines a problem as an underlying cause of one or more incidents.

Example: An incident of a server hang is reported. The server becomes functional after a reboot. Later on, the incident repeats and the root cause of failure is analyzed and found as a faulty motherboard. The root cause is reported as Problem.

Configure problem entity settings

Customize Problem details by creating custom fields in addition to the predefined fields.

If you select Client, the settings are applied to all users in the client. If you do not select a client, the chosen settings apply to all clients in the partner.

  1. From All Clients, select the client.
  2. Go to Setup > Service Desk > Configuration > Settings.
  3. Click the Problem tab.
  4. From PROBLEM SETTINGS, configure the Property settings.
  5. Click Update.

Create a problem entity

Problem entities are created on the Service Desk.

  1. Select Service Desk from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click + and select Problem.
  3. In the New Problem page, enter the required details.
  4. Click Create.
Create New Problem

Supported fields

Field nameDescription
PartnerSelect the partner.
ClientSelect the client.
SubjectTitle or short summary of Problem
Description<The information required to describe Problem scenario.

This can include the actual behavior, expected behavior, and steps to reproduce the issue.

Attach fileThe artifacts required to support Problem.

Example: error messages, screenshots, excerpt from log files.

Supported file types: `.txt`, `.jpg`, `.zip`, `.docx`, `.odt`, `.odg` and `.xlsx`. File size limit: 32 MB

Requested ByUser who requests Problem
Assignee GroupUser group that manages Problem
Assign toUser who acts on Problem
ResourcesDevices on which Problem is identified
CategoryCategory to which Problem is mapped
Sub CategorySubcategory under the category to which Problem is mapped
PriorityMeasure of how soon Problem needs to be fixed
Root CauseFactors On resolution of which the causal incidents can be prevented or healed
Work Around
Temporary method for achieving the given task when the planned method is not working due to Problem. The workaround is abandoned when the Problem is fixed.
ApplicationApplications on which the Problem is detected
Known IssueWhether the Problem has occurred in the past
ArticlesKB articles that refer to similar Problems in the past
Attach Change RequestChange request required to fix the Problem
Estimated HoursPlanned time duration for Problem resolution

View problems

Problem details page provides the following attributes.

ConversationsComments added by assignee or creator which can be viewed by all users in assignee group
Activity LogUser activities on Problem
ResourcesResources on which Problem is identified
NotesUseful information or hints for Problem resolution. Viewed by all users of the assignee group.
To DoInformation recorded by a user for self-reference. Viewed by a single user.
  • The support website URL of the ITSM ticket is now provided as a hyperlink instead of plain text in the Properties section. You can provide a hyperlink in any of the fields that are under the Properties section.

  • Users can access the third party tickets (for example, ServiceNow) using the hyperlink provided in the External Ticket Info under the Properties section.

  • Note: To get the clickable link, you need to provide the External Entity URL information under the Outbound integration Response field.
Attach Incident to SR

Status FlowThe workflow representation that shows the status changes of Problem
ArticlesKB articles attached if the Problem is a known error
Attached RequestsChange Requests attached as part of Problem resolution
Integration LogThe inbound and outbound third-party communication details.

Edit a problem

  1. On the drop-down menu, click Service Desk.
  2. Click a problem.
  3. Click the Edit button and edit the required fields.

Edit multiple problem entities

  1. On the drop-down menu, click Service Desk.
  2. Filter the tickets (from the left pane or by searching) and select the entities to be edited,
  3. Click Bulk Update,
  4. From Update Actions, select the required changes.
  5. Click Update.

Add an auto-close policy to close a problem

Configure auto-close policies to close problems that are resolved and that are in an inactive state since a certain elapsed time.

  1. Go to Setup > Service Desk > Auto Close Policies.
  2. Select the client and click Auto Close Problems.
  3. From EDIT AUTO CLOSE POLICY, enter:
    • Name: Name of the Auto-Close policy
    • Resolved Tickets Above: The inactive period of a resolved Problem beyond which the entity needs to be closed
  4. Click Submit.