8 Replies · Latest reply on Aug 8, 2016 11:24 AM by johnbarber(now)

    Problem Management Impact and urgency matrix

      Hello everyone,


      I am wondering if there is a problem management impact and urgency matrix that someone has already developed that they would be willing to share? I am in process of standing up the PM process for my company and this would be extremely helpful.  thank you for the assist.



        • Re: Problem Management Impact and urgency matrix
          Chuck Tomasi

          Hi Michael,


          I recommend starting the lookup table similar to the incident one provided out of the box then fine tune it as needed.


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          --Sr. Technical Product Marketing Mgr, Now Platform
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          • Re: Problem Management Impact and urgency matrix
            Jodi Stoecklein

            Hi Michael,


            The Incident priority table is super helpful (the link Chuck provided), and is aligned to the ITIL-based Priority Matix. The matrix is based on this formula: Impact + Urgency = Priority.


            Impact is the measure of the degree of service failure caused by an Incident or Problem.

            Urgency is the measure of business criticality.


            Scope typically defines impact (how big is this), time typically defines urgency (how fast do we fix it). Keep in mind that these are measures that should be set and agreed throughout your organization in order to be effective. They probably already are if you have an existing Incident process that uses the Priority Matrix.


            If you want to see some good examples and get some ideas, do an internet search for 'ITIL Priority Matrix' and you'll get a ton of results.


            Good luck with your Problem Management process!


            Jodi Stoecklein



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            • Re: Problem Management Impact and urgency matrix

              From the incident perspective...  The problem should align depending on the priority of the incident.

              • Re: Problem Management Impact and urgency matrix

                Hi Michael,


                You may have all you need at this point from Jodi's response, but I wanted to add some additional information I hope will be helpful to you. First the Impact and Urgency used in incident is a good example of how to start constructing a risk matrix for problem, however the outcomes of Incident are very different then problem (Incident Priority = Which fire needs to be put out first; Problem Priority = How important it is to fix a root cause causing incidents), and these need to be taken into account as you start to think how to calculate Impact and Urgency of a PRB.


                A problem is a grouping of incidents caused by a specific root cause, so all incidents caused by the problem should then be associated to the PRB; this association then is your PRB data trend with which you can start calculating your PRB Impact and Urgency. Often I find it necessary to build some calculation fields on your Problem_Table to calculate averages or sums of certain data points from your pool of associated INT records on the PRB. Some examples of what I have used in the past for PRB impact and Urgency are below:


                Impact - How bad is it when this PRB causes and Incident - Measures the risk of negative impact to Systems, Services, or Customers when the PRB causes an INT

                - Basic:

                    AVG Priority of incident,

                    % of P1 INTs,

                    Average INT Time-To-Resolve [TTR], Total count of INT's

                - Advanced - These may require some changes to your INT data:

                    AVG Cost of INT ( How much money on average does it cost your org or lost revenue when there is an INT)

                    Sum of Escalated INTs(Your Management might watch some incidents more then others) ,

                    SUM of Type of Incident (You may have a range of severity for your P1 INTs, summing up the INT types that are the worst types can help)


                Urgency - How frequently is this PRB causing INTs - Measures the risk or likeliness of repeat incidents from the PRB

                - Basic -

                    Rate of INT (Hourly, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, >Monthly),

                    Last Occurrence (Day ago, Week Ago, Two weeks ago, A month ago)

                - Advanced - You may need some changes on your PRB form:

                    Risk of Failure (Based on the use of the service or system and how present it is for you how likely is this to fail again),

                    % of Infrastructure with defect,

                    Escalated (If you leadership wants to escalate the urgency of a PRB; basically a manual over ride),

                    PRB Mitigation Unavailable (You don't know yet how to reduce or prevent INTs from occurring)



                It is important to remember that your impact and urgency calculations will vary and be different from company to company, it really is unique to how your company views the impact of INTs and the risk of them occurring. Once you have your calculations then you need to decide on thresholds for those stats that would change the score of Impact or Urgency, and create Business rules to set you PRB Impact and Urgency fields based on how the INT calcualtions land against those thresholds

                for example:

                - Count of P1 INTs: 1 INT = Impact 4, 2 INT = Impact 3, 3 INT = Impact 2, >4 = Impact 1

                - Rate of INT: Monthly = Urgency 4, Weekly = Urgency 3, Daily = Urgency 2, Hourly = Urgency 1

                Note: These thresholds will likely shift as the needs of your org change.


                You might end up with a Priority Score matrix that looks like:

                Priority Score.png


                PRB priority

                Once you have your Impact and Urgency fields calculated, you can then calculate PRB Priority by identifying the combinations of Impact and Urgency that matter most to your org.

                For Example - Impact score of 1 but Urgency score of 4 = Priority 2, because while it is very bad when it happens it doesn't happen very often and you have time to fix it before the next one. But then maybe you CIO decides he wants if fixed faster, and sets the escalation which then modifies the urgency to Urgency 1, and changes the PRB Priority automatically to a P1.


                In this way your PRB Priority will dynamically Warm or Cool based on the flow in INTs into the PRB, for example as mitigation efforts take effect the urgency might go down and cool the PRB priority, but the PRB will stay open until resolved and no more INTs can be caused by it, Your problem managers then can use the automatically calculated Priority to help quickly identify the highest priority PRB causing the worst INTs for your org, to focus their efforts on the heaviest and most urgent PRB causing INTs.


                To visualize how this calculation can help your Problem Managers identify the worst PRB:

                Priority Matrix.png

                In Summary, The above might be more complex then you were wanting to go, and if your INT Priorities are consistent and well established for your org, it can be a simple way to start calculating your PRB priority. The important thing to keep in mind as you build out your matrix is that the outcomes of INT and PRB are very different, and Impact and Urgency between the two are also very different, it will not be very effective for you to just imitate the INT Impact and Urgency. a PRB is an aggrigate and trend of incidents, and that INT info is very important to determining at what Priority you need to try and resolve problems.


                Hope it helps, and was not too technical,


                John B

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