In the dynamic world of IT, navigating the complex landscape requires adept problem management bolstered by well-defined Critical Success Factors (CSFs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Let’s unravel how these metrics can be the torchbearers guiding organizations in crafting a well-structured problem management strategy that suits both IT aficionados and business professionals alike.

Crafting the Path to Success with CSFs

CSFs act as the compass, helping organizations pinpoint the crucial areas they need to focus on to achieve their objectives. Different organizations will have different CSFs based on their unique circumstances and levels of maturity. Let’s explore some exemplary CSFs that organizations might consider:

Minimizing Business Impact of Unpreventable Incidents

This is about being proactive in reducing the repercussions of incidents that cannot be averted. It encompasses strategies like augmenting the Known Error Database (KEDB) and enhancing the first-contact resolution at service desks.

Upholding IT Service Quality

Maintaining quality is central to avoiding repetitive incidents that can be a drain on resources. Keeping a tab on problem backlogs and recurrent incidents for each IT service can help in steering clear of pitfalls.

Ensuring Quality and Professionalism in Problem Handling

This entails keeping the wheels running smoothly, building business confidence through professional handling of issues, and maintaining a meticulous record of problem categories and resolution times.

KPIs: The Pulse of Performance

KPIs are the heartbeat of an organization, giving a pulse on how well it is doing in achieving its CSFs. Just as a doctor would monitor vital signs to understand a patient’s health, organizations use KPIs to gauge their health in various domains. Here are some key KPIs that can guide in nurturing a robust problem management framework:

Database Precision

It reflects on the accuracy percentage of the KEDB stemming from meticulous audits.

Incident Resolution Dynamics

Understanding the dynamics such as the average resolution time and the percentage of incidents resolved within the stipulated Service Level Agreement (SLA) targets can offer critical insights.

Problem Backlog Trends

Monitoring whether the backlog of outstanding problems is static, reducing, or increasing can offer a lens into the efficacy of the current problem management strategies.

Cost Dynamics

An overlook on the average cost per problem resolved can guide in financial planning and resource allocation.

A Deeper Dive with Metrics

While CSFs and KPIs offer a broad framework, it is often beneficial to delve deeper by categorizing problem metrics in terms of impact, urgency, and service affected. This in-depth analysis can help in pinpointing specific areas needing attention and in identifying trends over time, offering a richer tapestry of data for Continuous Service Improvement (CSI).


As we sail in the IT sea, the CSFs act as our compass, defining our path, while the KPIs are the wind in our sails, giving us the momentum to move forward. It is this synchronized dance between CSFs and KPIs, guided by meticulous metrics analysis, that can steer organizations to the shores of success, fostering a culture of quality, professionalism, and efficacy in IT problem management. Thus, even if you are a business professional, understanding the pulse and path defined by KPIs and CSFs can equip you with the tools to navigate the IT landscape with a well-informed compass, creating a bridge between IT and business objectives.

References: ITIL Service Operation, 2011 edition, ISBN 9780113313075