This is one of the most vital and yet least valued activities in Problem Management. I have been involved with many organisations that have implemented PM and problem control activities without spending enough time on problem classification. Sure most IT people see the importance of correctly identifying and recording Problems and then assigning appropriate priority, impact and urgency to these problems, based on clearly defined tables or matrices. The reactive problems are then efficiently processed, however without a well thought out Problem Categorisation Table or schema, it makes it very difficult for the more Proactive Problem management activities to analyse trends and perform effective preventative maintenance of the IT infrastructure. So when you are next looking at opportunities to improve your Problem Management activities, consider how well do you categorise problems?

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