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And so the world loses a hero.

Why is it that people still confuse what role a Problem Manager should perform within an ITIL based service provision?

Problem management has it’s fingers in lots of pies when it comes to IT service provision, but most organisations I’ve seen seem to think that it’s either Enhanced incident management, or major incident management.

Problem management is neither.  Firstly Incident management is all about restoring service to the client in the shortest time possible.  BSOD – Restart.  Service restored, incident closed.  Problem management should only come into this scenario when there is a pattern to these incidents.  The service desk still resolves the incidents via the reboot workaround, while in the background the PM team is working away with whatever tech resources to identify the cause, and implement the fix to stop the incidents.  As my TL used to say, Service Desk fight the battles, we fight the wars.

Major incidents is another area where, in my view Service Desk managers mistakenly see value from Problem Management.  PM absolutley has a role in the MI process, but it should not be the first port of call for co-ordination of the incident.  To do so removes the effectiveness of the PM function, by pulling them away from managing problems, possibly including the ones which lie at the cause of the current MI.  This is counter productive, but most organisations will not have budgeted to have the capacity to have a dedicated Major Incident team / Manager, and removing staff from the front line service desk to perform the co-ordination and communication work is often not feasable.  This is why in most cases, Major incidents end up in the remit of the problem management function.  1 long running MI can in effect take 1 team member out for the entire lifecycle of the incident, meaning that all that Problem management work has now exceeded timelines / SLA.  And all the while the MI is going on and the comms have gone out to manage the flow of inbound calls regarding it, the Service desk are still dealing with incidents which probably would have had a resolution had the PM team not been diverted.

I have no idea where I was going with this post, really was a stream of conciousness thing.  I’ve probably failed to make any point successfully, and if you’ve read this far, well done.

Well sat down and watched Source code last night, expecting a fairly mindless Hollywood flick, and to that end it didn’t disappoint. However there are a couple of things about that film that are really bugging me

1. What happened to the teachers personality? If the captain is in his body where did he disappear to?

2. Why on earth didn’t they end the film at the freeze frame. I think that would have made for a much better and thought provoking ending than the vomit inducing saccharine that the director served up to us

All I can say is thank god I don’t have to watch that again

With the advent of the new Fox Footy channel, I got to thinking about footy, and Australian top tier sports, and my belief that there are 2 main flaws with every top tier sporting commission in Australia, which is depriving todays supporters of something fundamental to the sport.  Indeed the sports are lessened considerably by these omissions.

The first flaw is the lack of promotion and relegation to and from the top leagues in Australia.  What is the cost of finishing last in the league in top tier Australian sport?  Not a lot really, a bit of embarrassment, a ribbing from your mates, but not a lot else.  In fact it can be argued that due to the draft system in sports like AFL, much like the NFL in the USA, that finishing bottom is better for your team than finishing higher, the Melbourne Demons for some reason spring to mind when the thought of tanking occurs.

But the main flaw with selling your sports soul to broadcasters, is that when you go all in like top tier Australian sports have, the drama of the final day is lost.  With all the matches being scheduled so that one broadcaster can show ‘every match, every round, siren to siren’ there is no room for the drama of a final day kick off where all matches start at the same time, and any permutation can be played out, and us fans can go from anguish to heartbreak to elation despite what occurs on the field of battle our team is fighting on.

Admittedly the way that the competitions are set up means that no matter what, the major prize is never given out on the final day of the league season, what with the finals knockout still format, culminating in the Grand Final.  And that is etched on the psyche of every Australian sports follower, and should not be changed, as it brings a drama all of it’s own which enriches the experience as a fan.

Take this scenario – Essendon and Hawthorn are in 8th and 9th going into the final round of the home and away season of the NFL.  Both are level on points and Hawthorn need to win by 3 more goals than Essendon do to overtake them on differential.  In as it stands today, Essendon would probably have played on Friday night, won their match.  The fans would have returned from the ground.  and assuming the Hawks play on the Saturday afternoon, and win but come up short by by 1 goal, although there is drama there, at least to my mind it is lessened as the 2 facets of the outcome are not together.  The Essendon fans did not get a chance to celebrate making the finals, and both sets of fans missed out on the drama of splitting attention between what’s happening on the ground in front of you, and what’s going on in the other game.

Well that’s my 2c on it.