Difference Between Incident Management and Problem Management

Incident Management vs Problem Management

Difference between incident management and problem management is that incident management is about managing an unexpected situation while problem management is about managing an issue which has arisen. Knowing the difference between incident management and problem management is important due to the fact that they are closely linked with each other. In fact, the incidents, if not managed immediately and properly, may cause unexpected problems later. If there is no proper system or efficient system for incident management, then it is giving way to problem management. Therefore, problem management is essential in identifying the root causes for a particular incident and to solve the issues.  This article attempts to make clear the differences between incident management and problem management.

What is Incident Management?

Incident is an unexpected occurrence which may affect the related parties positively or negatively. In the organizational context, an incident is something which may require an immediate solution. For an example, if the systems/programs that run inside the office network are crashed, that may affect the flow of the business processes, which requires an immediate solution. Otherwise, it may directly impact on the normal course of business activities. Therefore, incident management is a process to solve the incident at the site and return back to normalcy as quickly as possible. The incident management process includes four components: identify the incident, analyse what happened and how it happened, find a solution to correct it as quickly as possible, and prevent it from happening again.

Incident Management | Difference Between Incident Management and Problem Management

Any fault or incident has to be identified and reported at the bottom level. Once it is reported, necessary information should be collected for analysis to find out what happened and how it happened. Next step is to find a solution to correct the fault and return to  normalcy as soon as possible. In finding a solution, refer to past incidents of similar nature and check whether it can be applied to this situation, as well. If it is not possible to find a solution at the local level from the past experiences, escalate it to the next level. Record the incident and the solution for future reference. Finally, precaution should be taken to prevent the same incident happening again.

What is Problem Management?

Problem management is the process of managing the problems arise due to a particular incident. The main objective of problem management is to prevent problems arising from certain types of incidents that cause damages for the resources of organization s or to reduce the impact of incidents that cannot be prevented.

The process of problem management involves few steps as identifying the root causes for the problems, applying various techniques of solving the problems and measuring the effectiveness of the used techniques. In reality, when managing and solving problems, there are two types of techniques that are used. i.e. proactive or reactive techniques/actions. Proactive techniques include the actions taken before an incident is converted into a serious problem. For an example, in an organization at the production flow, after completing each of the activity in the process, quality inspection needs to be carried out in order to reduce the risk of producing products with quality defects. It is a convenient method that can be used to track the stage at which the quality defect arises and, therefore, failures can be identified at the time of the incident. So the errors can be rectified within the organization.

Reactive techniques are used at the time when the products are being rejected by the customers due to quality defects. That means actions are taken after some incident has occurred. Therefore, out of these two methods proactive techniques are beneficial than reactive techniques problem management.

Difference Between Incident and Problem Management

What is the difference between Incident Management and Problem Management?

• Incident is an unexpected situation which may affect the related parties of the incident and need to be managed as quickly as possible to restore normalcy. while problem management can be considered as a process of managing certain problem that arose due to a various incidents.

• When comparing these two terms, problem management is required as a result of a particular incident and, therefore, there is a close link between these two terms.

• An incident may cause a positive impact as well as a negative impact towards the related parties. Problem management is required due to the negative impacts of the incident.

• Incident needs to be managed within the shortest possible time, but problem management can be prolonged. 

• Incident management is concerned on fixing the fault immediately and returning to normalcy, while problem management is concerned about the root cause to find a permanent solution and eliminate the problem from happening again.