A problem is the cause of one or more incidents. Once a problem has been documented, all the relevant details need to be added for the root cause analysis to be effective. Then a workaround or a permanent solution needs to be determined to solve the problem. This section talks about Problem Management in Freshservice.

Creating Problems

In the previous section, we discussed the process of creating a problem from a ticket’s detailed view. If no incidents have been reported for a problem yet, you can create a fresh problem.

The process of identifying significant problems by analyzing incident records and data collected by other IT Service Management processes is called Proactive Problem Management.

Every problem is created with a unique ID that differentiates it from the rest. For example, if the problem ID is PRB-123, PRB stands for problem and 123 is the problem number. 

To create a new problem, 

  1. Click on the + (New) icon in the top-right corner and select Problem.

  1. Fill the form to create the problem and click on Save.

Adding Incidents to a Problem

Understanding the impact of a problem becomes way easier if you can see all the incidents caused by it, and linking tickets to a problem is extremely easy:

  • Click on Associate option at the top right of the screen and click on Existing Incident. 

    • You can also click on the Associations tab below the problem description and click on +Associate option to add an incident.

  • In the ticket list that pops up, select the incidents you’d like to link to the problem and click on Link.

The linked tickets will be displayed under the Associations button. If you need to detach an incident later, hover over it and click the ‘minus’ sign next to it. Then click on Detach.

Quick Guide for Managing Problem Properties:

  • Click on any problem from the dashboard or the ticket list to see its details.

  • Head over to the Problem Properties section on the right side menu. In case it has been collapsed, click to expand it once again.

  • Using the dropdown boxes, choose and edit the priority, status and other fields in the problem properties list.

  • Click Update once done.

Adding the root cause, impact and symptoms to the problem

Besides knowing which incidents were caused by the problem, some more information is
required to resolve it. The most important piece of information is the “root cause” of the problem,
which is identified by performing root cause analysis. You’d also want to document the impact
and symptoms of the problem in detail.

To add the Root Cause, the Impact, and the Symptoms, click in the corresponding box, enter
the information and click Add.

Adding Workarounds and Permanent Solutions

Once the problem’s details are in place, finding a solution to the problem becomes easy. A workaround can be provided for problems that cannot be resolved instantly.

You can link a solution article from your knowledge base and as a workaround or a permanent solution for the problem, or add a solution of your own.

To add a workaround or a permanent solution,

  1. Go to the problem’s detailed view and click on Permanent/Workaround under Solutions.

  2. If the solution exists in your knowledge base already, search for the article and click the paperclip icon to link it. If it does not, click on Add a new solution and skip to the next Step.

  3. If a new solution needs to be added, click on Add a new solution. Then type in the solution title, select an appropriate folder for it from the drop-down menu and enter the steps in the Description field. Once you’re done, click on Add.

Marking Problems as Known Errors

Depending on factors like business impact, cost of the solution and ROI, implementing the solution immediately might not be feasible. Until it is, you can use the workaround and mark the problem as a “known error”.

From the problem’s detailed view, toggle the “Is this a known issue?” switch to YES.

Adding Notes to Problems

Often, you need to discuss the problem with other agents in your team, share progress internally and log your updates for future reference. Freshservice lets you add private notes to a problem that are only visible to agents logged in to your service desk. When you add a note to a ticket, you can also choose to notify specific agents in your team. 

Viewing Problem Activities

There are a lot of times when you need a quick snapshot of all the activity that has been happening in a problem. Similarly, you may want to have a quick glance at all the changes that happened due to automation rules and custom fields. Activities give you a complete snapshot of all such updates that happened within a problem. 

A Quick Guide to Checking your Problem Activity History:

  • Click on any problem from the dashboard or the ticket list to see its details.

  • Click on the Activities button at the bottom of the original description of the ticket.

  • The entire list of activities that happened so far gets displayed in reverse chronological order.

The created date is also captured under the Activities tab. 

Associating assets

Since Frehservice is integrated with the asset management module, you could associate an asset linked to the change request. This way admins and agents can see the various other assets linked and asses the impact and risk for that particular asset.

  1. Click on Assets -> +Associate Asset
  2. Search for the asset right away or select a category then choose the assets from the list. Click Associate to add them to the change request.