Better Outcomes: Integrating Defect and Problem Management

There are five advantages of integrating defect management and PM:

Reduces Incidents – Making clients aware of known errors or defects prior to the release of new functionality can help set and manage their expectations. Some IT organizations may not want to alert clients of known defects. The reality is clients and users generally assume new releases will not be totally fault free and would rather know up front. By keeping clients informed, the number of incidents can be reduced and client satisfaction will increase.

Reduces support costs – Having the details of known errors, workarounds and resolution activities formally documented in the KEDB means that there will be fewer situations where incidents have to be re-diagnosed and resolved all over again.

Improves resolution times – Clients and users will also experience improved resolution times due to the service desk and other support personnel having appropriate diagnostic and resolution information at their fingertips.

Prioritizes bug fixes based on incidents – IT operational support groups can also benefit from the integration of defect management and PM. As clients and users report issues back to the service desk, the support groups can analyze this information to help identify which faults should be corrected first based on what has the highest impact to the business.

Improves team coordination – Organizations that design the integration between the development and operational processes improve information sharing and coordination. In turn, continual improvement efforts occur. This information includes identifying characteristics and attributes of defects that are innocuous. This provides additional insight, as to the nature of defects allowed in operations.

There are many benefits for leveraging faults detected in the development environment and integrating them with PM. This one approach will allow you to position your IT organization as being proactive rather reactive simply by effectively leveraging people, tools and processes you likely have in place.

In addition, making sure IT operations are involved earlier in the application development lifecycle is a good service management practice for improving an organization’s operational readiness. Additionally, these activities can be linked to a continual service improvement program, which helps with long-term and short-term improvements.

Marty Likier is a master consultant in Forsythe’s IT Service Management practice. He can be reached at [email protected].