203 RPR Problem Diagnosis RPR is a problem diagnosis method specifically designed to determine the root cause of IT problems. Overview RPR (Rapid Problem Resolution) deals with failures, incorrect output and performance issues, and its particular strengths are in the diagnosis of ongoing & recurring grey problems.
The method comprises: • Core Process • Supporting Techniques The Core Process defines a step-by-step approach to problem diagnosis and has three phases: • Discover • Gather & review existing information • Reach an agreed understanding • Investigate • Create & execute a diagnostic data capture plan • Analyse the results & iterate if necessary • Identify Root Cause • Fix • Translate diagnostic data • Determine & implement fix • Confirm Root Cause addressed The Supporting Techniques detail how the objectives of the Core Process steps are achieved, and cite examples using tools and techniques that are available in every business. Standards alignment RPR has been fully aligned with ITIL v3 since RPR 2.01 was released in April 2008.
RPR fits directly into the ITIL v3 Problem Management Process as a sub-process.
Some organisations handle ongoing recurring problems within Incident Management, and RPR also fits into the ITIL v3 Incident Management Process as a sub-process.
COBIT also defines a Problem Management Process (DS10) with key activity of Perform root cause analysis.
RPR is a superset of this step in that it defines a process that covers all of the activities needed to perform Problem investigation & diagnosis, including Root Cause identification. Limitations RPR has some limitations and considerations, including: • RPR deals with a single symptom at a time • RPR is not a forensic technique and so historical data alone is rarely sufficient • The Investigate phase requires the user to experience the problem one more time History The method was originally developed by Advance7 in 1990 as the Rapid Problem Resolution Method, with the first fully documented version produced in 1995.
Early versions included problem management guidance but this was removed over time as the method became more closely aligned to ITIL.
RPR is now focused on Problem Diagnosis based on Root Cause Identification.
Due to the highly practical nature of the Supporting Techniques and the ever RPR Problem Diagnosis changing IT landscape, Advance7 continues to develop RPR to keep it relevant to current IT environments.
Until November 2007 Advance7 made the RPR material available to its employees only, although a limited number of other IT professionals had been trained in the use of the method.
In late 2007 the company announced its intention to make RPR training and material more widely available.
In March 2009 the TSO added a significant amount of RPR information to the ITIL Best Practice Live website within the areas dealing with Problem Management. 204 Further reading • RPR presentation to the British Computer Society  • Case Study:  Aberdeen City Council solves four-month IT problem in two days • Article:  Misunderstand the symptoms, fail with the cure References  http:/ / www.beds.
Uk/ documents/ 2009-04-22-MethodBasedProblemDiagnosis.
Pdf  http:/ / www.publictechnology.net/ content/ 19065  http:/ / www.computerworlduk.com/ community/ blogs/ index.
Cfm?entryId=2099& blogId=29 Self-organising heuristic Self-organising heuristic is a strategy or rule for organising a list in response to how it is accessed.
Examples might be: • • • • Move to front (or ‘Move to top’) Order by frequency of access Re-insert at random position Move to back Example Applications Move to front, or Order by frequency, might be used to organise a cache of information, so that frequently used, or recently used information is at the top (and so can be found quickly, without having to traverse the whole list).
Order by frequency might be used to re-arrange a list of options in a GUI menu, so that the top ones are the ones most commonly selected by the user.
Re-insert at random or Move to back might be used to organise a list of mirror servers, so that once a server has been used for downloading, it goes to the back of the queue, to discourage the user from selecting it again.
Read more about Standards alignment RPR has been fully aligned with ITIL v3 since RPR 2: