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5 Steps of the Problem Management Process

The problem management process is a repeated series of steps that address the root cause of a problem. This compliments incident management that contains a problem and addresses its urgent symptoms. The following are the basic steps of the problem management process.
Detection → Prioritization → Problem Analysis → Problem Resolution → Closure


The process of detecting a problem. This can include automation and channels that allow stakeholders to submit problems. The incident management process provides the initial management of problems and often results in the opening of a problem management ticket.


High impact or high risk problems are addressed first and low impact problems may never be prioritized. This is healthy as a productive organization may not waste resources on minor issues.

Problem Analysis

Problem analysis begins with root cause analysis whereby you seek out the fundamental cause of a problem. With the root cause identified, you can proceed to troubleshooting and the design of a solution.

Problem Resolution

Implementing and testing a solution to the problem.


The process of closing a problem, often including a workflow that asks stakeholders to confirm the problem is resolved.

Problem Management

This is the complete list of articles we have written about problem management.
Cold Standby
Defensive Design
Design Debt
Edge Case
Error Tolerance
Fail Well
Fault Tolerance
Graceful Degradation
Help Desk
Incident Process
Latent Error
Mistake Proofing
No Fault Found
Problem Analysis
Root Cause
More ...
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