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Problem Manager in ITIL: Skills, Roles and Responsibilities

19th Jan, 2024
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    Problem Manager in ITIL: Skills, Roles and Responsibilities

    Whether you are a business owner, a successful entrepreneur, or the CEO of a large multinational corporation, problems are unavoidable. Thus, problem-solving skills in management are essential. No matter how methodically you prepare ahead of time or how much money you invest, you will not be able to avoid tragic situations if and when they happen.

    Problem management provides the capability to detect and handle problems effectively by implementing procedures to ensure root problems are dealt with and averted. Here we have a guide to assist with who is a problem manager, what are the problem manager's roles and responsibilities, and the problem manager's job description with problem management examples.

    What Is a Problem Manager?

    So, what is a problem manager? The problem manager is essential in an organization's IT Service Management (ITSM). Problem managers detect, monitor, and fix difficulties that emerge during routine company tasks and jobs. To tackle these difficulties as rapidly as possible, they frequently collaborate with a team of engineers, designers, and other professionals.

    Problem managers are responsible for dealing with a wide range of situations. These can range from product errors or quality control issues to customer grievances about defective products or services. The aim is consistently the same: detect and fix problems swiftly, so they do not have a detrimental effect on the company's bottom line. 

    You can check out and enroll in the ITIL 4 Foundation Certification to learn how to leverage ITIL to gain optimal value from IT and digital services. The course is designed as an introduction to ITIL 4 and allows individuals to see IT service management via an end-to-end operational model for the creation, delivery, and continuous improvement of technology-enabled goods and services. You can also check out the problem manager resume online and refer to it before applying for the role.

    What Is Problem Management?

    But what is problem management in ITIL? The procedure by which a problem manager or team finds and resolves an incident or problem inside an IT service is known as problem management. Understanding what triggered a problem or why it occurred is a big aspect of resolving a problem.

    It is often more useful to know what variables caused the problem rather than simply recognizing the problem. Instead of just documenting a file's corruption, the problem management team may ask themselves what corrupted it.

    The purpose of problem-solving is to figure out what caused a problem so that it doesn't happen again. Problem management is a crucial resource for an IT team as some problems can impede other operations, causing further inefficiencies for the organization. Problem managers regularly work on recognizing faults before they become bigger problems.

    what is problem management

    Roles and Responsibilities of Problem Manager

    Let's check the problem manager's job roles. Problem managers perform a wide range of responsibilities; the most important ITIL problem manager roles and responsibilities include: 

    1. Monitoring project progress to verify that deadlines are met, budgets are adhered to, and objectives are fulfilled. 
    2. Collaboration with the customer to create and implement problem-solving solutions. 
    3. Doing a comprehensive examination of a problem's core causes, including who, what, when, where, why, and how it originated. 
    4. Analyzes determine the influence of new policies, procedures, or regulations on current processes. 
    5. Offer management guidance on optimal practices for dealing with difficulties. 
    6. Examine information from internal departments impacted by the problem to find areas for improvement. 
    7. Take corrective measures based on best practices for recognizing causes and executing solutions. 
    8. Coordination with other departments or expert consultation to discover answers to complicated challenges. 
    9. Propose new procedures or methods to avoid future problems. 

    These are some of the essential problem manager responsibilities. You can check out the ITSM Training Courses online to learn about the most recent advancements and best practices in IT Service Management. This course will help you manage and lead IT Service Management across your organization.

    Become a project management expert with our PMP training course online. Start your journey to success now!

    What Are Problem Manager Skills?

    To be effective, the IT problem manager must possess the necessary problem management skills. Let's check the problem manager skills: 

    • Communication  

    As a problem solver, you must interact with individuals, including other managers, employees, and clients. You must be able to communicate successfully in both writing and verbal formats. You are also required to communicate complex details, so it's necessary to explain technical attributes easily and understandably. 

    • Problem-Solving Management Skills 

     Problem-solving abilities are required for a problem manager. Utilize these abilities to solve challenges that influence a company's production or customer pleasure and also employ problem-solving abilities to identify solutions to issues affecting a team's morale or performance. 

    • Critical Thinking 

    Critical thinking is the competence to examine a problem and determine the best answer. As a problem manager, you are responsible for solving a problem that was caused by someone else. You can apply critical thinking to assess the problem and come up with a solution that is acceptable to all factions. 

    • Teamwork 

    As managers usually deal with groups of individuals, they must be able to work well with others. An ITIL problem manager can utilize collaboration skills to assist them in handling difficulties with their team members. They can also employ collaboration skills to motivate team members to express their opinions and recommendations. 

    • Leadership 

    As a problem manager, you can utilize your leadership talents to motivate and push your team to discover solutions to difficulties. You can also utilize your leadership abilities to assist your team in collaborating and making choices. Leadership abilities can also assist you in guiding your team through transition, which is an essential problem-manager role.

    What Are the Steps of Problem Management?

    The problem management process is an organized method for managing problems in IT projects when they are initially reported by users or service desk personnel. The problem-solving procedure is divided into seven phases. 

    1. Detection

    To fix a problem, you must first acknowledge it. It can be performed in several ways. One is that there is a problem that has been identified or that is being investigated. Other event management solutions can discover a problem automatically, or you can receive a signal from a provider.

    A problem is defined when the source of the problem report is unknown. For instance, an event may occur, get rectified, and then repeat. The core reason for this occurrence is unknown. Sometimes a problem is called a problem, one that has existed earlier and is reported. 

    2. Logging

    When a problem has previously been reported once and has reoccurred, this historical data is available as it was logged. This is a critical phase in the life cycle of any problem management approach. All relevant facts, such as the day, date, and time of the incident, any user information, equipment specifics, and an explanation, must be included in the log. 

    Once the problem has been noted, it must be classified to effectively allocate and manage it, as well as prioritize it. This helps the team evaluate how difficult the situation is and when it should be handled. 

    3. Diagnosis

    After the problem has been recognized and recorded, the investigation for its underlying cause begins. This can be accomplished by searching the known error database for other problems that resemble the one you're attempting to diagnose and seeing whether any reported resolutions are present. 

    4. Workaround 

    If a workaround can temporarily solve the problem, this is the most effective and fastest way to proceed. It is not a permanent alteration and should not be employed in return for fixing the issue, but it can help to restore the technical ship and decrease downtime and interruption until a permanent modification option is available. Just be wary about accumulating too many technical charges. 

    5. Known Error Record

    After you've identified, logged, and diagnosed the problem, it's important to collect that information in a known error record. This is when you can go back and check up on problems in IT to see if they're ones you've already dealt with. This makes resolving problems faster and easier, resulting in less downtime and disruption. 

    6. Resolution

    After you've detected, recorded, and assessed the problem, it's critical to document it in a known error record. It is where you can go back and check up on issues in your IT to see if they're ones you've already dealt with. This speeds up and simplifies problem resolution, resulting in reduced downtime and disturbance.

    7. Closure

    When you've found a solution to the problem, use standard change methodologies and test it to ensure it works. This procedure is sometimes carried out via a proposal for change document, which must then be accepted before being adopted.

    Benefits of Problem Management

    When done successfully, problem management can provide various advantages. 

    1. Constant Service Improvement

    Taking the initiative to resolve a problem can avoid low-level performance and foreseeable problems that can disrupt services. Organizations may proactively minimize difficulties and avoid recurrent incidents by integrating problems with all other ITSM operations. 

    2. Avoiding Expensive Mishaps

    Incidents caused by difficulties can cost a company a lot of time and money if not handled effectively. On the other side, minimizing occurrences through good problem management saves businesses significant money, but addressing serious issues before they harm services, products, or a company's reputation saves much more money. 

    3. Increased Productivity

    A business can be more successful if it does not waste time and money dealing with problems that can be avoided. 

    4. Reduced Time to Resolution

    Best practices for problem analysis will enable the problem manager and team to respond to service outages more quickly and correctly, reducing downtime. To determine the quickest path to the core cause, employ systematic problem analysis to link problems and integrate workflows.

    5. Identifying and Learning from Root Causes

    When teams practice problem-solving successfully, they can constantly learn from situations. 

    6. Increased customer and employee satisfaction

    When there are fewer difficulties along the route, customers and employees are more content. When there are issues, it becomes difficult to tolerate, especially when the problems are constant.

    7. Accelerate Service Restoration

    When IT personnel have visibility into known issues and proven workarounds, services can benefit. 

    8. Reduced Service Interruptions

    Teams can detect obstacles before they become more serious, avoiding downtime and service disruptions. IT may utilize built-in dashboards to monitor service performance and settings in advance. 

    9. Optimized Core Cause Resolution

    By integrating problems and managing procedures, IT teams can build systematic problem analyses. IT can provide better answers and solutions with a centralized picture of issues and associated changes.


    IT professionals will always have to deal with problems, but they don't have to be slowed down. That's because the problem manager is always on their toes, finding lasting solutions to lessen the volume of incidents substantially. Problem managers save lots of time and effort by designing new methodologies and strategies to streamline activities. 

    You can advance your career with the KnowledgeHut ITIL 4 Foundation Certification course offered by top industry experts who provide comprehensive and practical guidance with the renowned IT framework. Enroll now and increase your knowledge and upskill your expertise at your own pace.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What does the problem manager do?

    A Problem Manager's role in a firm is to regulate the lifecycle of problems. A Problem Manager prioritizes and plans problems, communicates with stakeholders, notifies the Change Manager, defers problems, makes the decision on the investigation of recognized errors, conducts problem reviews and documents learned lessons, closes problems and briefs stakeholders, monitors the issue and known error resolution progress, and takes the necessary actions.

    2Is problem management a good career?

    The demand is high in the field of problem management and ITSM-related project management roles. Professionals who have earned the certification have a high chance of being identified as ideal candidates for problem manager positions. A problem manager's salary in the United States can go upto $93,355 annually. While an IT problem manager's salary in India is ₹ 8.5 LPA 

    3What are the 2 types of problem management?

    The two types of problem management are reactive problem management and Proactive problem management. 

    4What is problem management with an example?

    Problem Management is the process of identifying, prioritizing, and systematically resolving these underlying issues.  

    For example, problem management is the process of answering a question, determining the root problem, and taking corrective action to avoid it from happening again.

    5What are the three phases of problem management?

    Three Problem management phases involve: 

    • Problem Identification 
    • Problem Control 
    • Error control 
    6What is the key step in the problem management process?

    The key step in the problem management process are: 

    1. Problem Detection 
    2. Problem Logging 
    3. Investigation and Diagnosis 
    4. Workaround 
    5. Create a Known Error Record 
    6. Resolution 
    7. Closure

    Manikandan Mohanakrishnan


    Manikandan Mohanakrishnan is a highly skilled corporate trainer, consultant, and content developer with expertise in a wide range of areas including ITIL 4, PRINCE2, Agile/Scrum, PMP, DevOps, and soft skills. With a passion for delivering exceptional training experiences, Manikandan offers a comprehensive suite of training services covering service management, project management, business simulations, and more. With over 20+ years of experience, he has successfully facilitated numerous programs, including business communications, emotional intelligence, team building, and organizational change management. Manikandan's dedication to empowering individuals and organizations shines through his motivational talks and impactful training sessions.

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