The Seven Sources Of Problems - Full URL Version

We received a lot of feedback on a recent series of articles based on the seven sources of problems. We have now updated this opening article with all of the links to each of the seven corresponding posts - to make it easier to absorb and enjoy.

We have planned a couple of follow-up articles on this topic, in particular how you use the seven sources model to strategically prioritize your 'areas of attack'. But for now, please enjoy this updated version...

On your next coffee break - take 5 minutes to think this one through...

There are only really 7 sources of problems. Yes - 7.

Every IT system, service, application or human problem can be traced back to these seven sources.

Over the next few days, Dr. ITiL will be publishing several (7!) follow-on articles where we will take you "around the clock" - from 1 through to 7 - and actually explain what each sources means and ways you can tackle it!

We've seen this time and time again in companies who are desperately trying to eliminate their problems to prevent any chance of recurrence.

Attacking the root cause of your problems is obviously the right thing to do!

However, you also need to get real tough on the sources of your problems - the real-world operating environment - in the widest sense of the term.

Incidentally, do you also investigate your "near misses"?

In the Airline Industry, where human safety is paramount, any planes found within a certain distance of each other that have to take evasive action - always have to follow through with a detailed report on how they got to that position in the first place and what they need to do to prevent a recurrence.

Imagine if your Problem Management team did the same?! The team would probably be considerably larger than it is today. Nevertheless, the seven sources model helps you consider not only actual "near misses", but potential "near misses" too.

The seven sources model is a reference model to accompany your thinking and improvement plans for Problem Management.

At the highest level and in a pretty down to earth style - we can summarise the seven sources as:-

[Links in Blue are now Available - Click Away!]

1. Acceptance into production - it got into your production world, you let it in, it caused a problem

2. New Changes - you let it through CAB, they implemented it, it caused a problem

3. Upgrades / Patches - you let them upgrade it (with or without change control), it caused a problem

4. Vendors / Suppliers - All of these categories, but considering suppliers instead of your local environment, they caused you a problem!

5. User Error - You let your Customer's use a system that they could break (bit unfair - some users will try hard to break their systems - albeit unintentionally)

6. How Production is Executed - The way you run your systems (re-scheduling batch processes, clock changes, deleting a job and it's dependencies fall over, you know the kind of thing!)

7. "Failures" - Electricity failure, mechanical breakdowns, elastic bands snapping

Click on any one of the links above to be transfered to the corresponding post.

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