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Problem And incident – Are they the same? | Problem Management


Problem is an unwelcome situation that has to be overcome. It is something we must deal, and solve. A solution that should purge the problem from persistence and recurrence.

Incident, is an occurrence. It’s more specific and confined to something that’s happening.

While problems and incident are different, the similarities lie in their potential to trigger trouble and difficulties in our scope of work. The hardships imposed could very unsettling.

Let’s gets both these terms in a project perspective.

Incident management and problem management are critical areas to be concentrated and contained for the smooth functioning, streamlining, and success of any project.

Incident in a project mostly refers to a particular happening. It can be at a task level to a module level, whereas problem can be across the project and same problem can be encountered in many phases and many parts of the project cycle.

Incident management and problem management are by itself exhaustive and quite complex. The severity may vary but every incident or problem calls for a thorough identification, analysis, solution and implementation. More than the fix, it’s even more important to avert recurrence. If there is Recurrence, then the fix or solution was only provisional and not a final resolution.

Incident management:

The primary aim is to identify the incidents which are adverse in its impact, develop the fix, test and deploy. If the incident severity is high, then the concerned stakeholders should be ‘on-call’ till issues is resolved. For sure, impact analysis will be conducted to ensure the fixes deployed are successful.

Problem management

Problems ideally states that ‘system doesn’t work the way it has to’. So steps to recreate the problems will be enumerated to ascertain the validity and then identification of the root cause – using methods like fish-bone analysis etc., fix the bug (problem), conduct impact analysis, deliver and deploy.

Sometimes root cause of incidents can be a part of the problem and that’s how they are related.

You can get to understand more in-depth by enrolling for Project Management (PMP®) Courses. For more details on PMP® Certification training course, click here.

You can also know more about PMP® Exam cost and how to apply online for your information, Project Management Professional (PMP)® is based on A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) —Fifth Edition.


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