Problem Analysis


The most common support system structure is the layered model, in which an increasing level of technical capability is applied to resolve an incident or problem. The actual roles and responsibilities used in a tiered implementation of a support system may vary depending on the personnel, history, and policies of the particular organization. However, the following description of a tiered support system is typical for many organizations.

First level of support

The organization (unit) representing the first level of support usually refers to operational services. As a rule, it is called the dispatch service, Call Center, Help Desk, Service Desk.

Roles. Process owner

The first level of support ensures that a well-defined, consistently executed, appropriately measured, effective incident management process is established and maintained. Receiving and managing all consumer service issues. The first level of support is the single point of contact for referral of service issues and acts as an advocate for the end user to ensure that service issues are resolved in a timely manner.

First line support

The first level support organization makes the first attempt to resolve the service issue reported by the end user.


Accurate registration of incidents. The first level of support ensures that incident information is logged in the system. For this it should be:

It is guaranteed that the incident card contains an accurate and sufficiently detailed description of the problem
Correct selection of incident severity/priority is guaranteed
Defined the nature of the problem, user contacts, business impact, and expected resolution time
Owning every incident. As an end user advocate, the first level of support ensures the successful resolution of every incident. At the same time, timely resolution of issues is guaranteed due to:

Develop and manage an action plan to address the issue

Initiation of specific task assignments for staff and business partners

Incident escalation, if required, when the target is not reached in time

Ensuring internal interaction in accordance with the objectives of the service

Protecting the interests of involved business partners

The first level of support uses the problem management database to match incidents to known errors and apply previously found incident resolutions. The goal is to resolve 80 percent of incidents. The remaining incidents are transferred (escalated) to the second level.

Continuous improvement of the incident management process.

As the owner of a given process, the first level of support ensures that the process can be improved, if necessary, by:

Evaluation of the effectiveness of this process and support mechanisms such as reports, types of communication and message formats, escalation procedures
Development of department-specific reports and procedures
Maintain and improve communications and escalation lists
Participation in the problem analysis process

Abilities and skills

Interpersonal skills are paramount. The first level support staff is mainly involved in prioritization and problem management. At this level of support, only minor technical studies are carried out. Ability to apply “canned” solutions. Level 1 personnel should be able to recognize symptoms, use search tools to discover previously developed solutions, and assist end users in applying those solutions.

Second level of support
This level also usually applies to operational services.


Incident research. The second level of support investigates, diagnoses and resolves most of the incidents that were not resolved at the first level. These incidents tend to point to new problems.
Problem Management Process Owner. The second level of support ensures that a well defined and effective problem management process is in place.

Proactive infrastructure management.

The second level of support uses tools and processes to ensure that problems are identified and resolved before incidents occur.
Resolving incidents transferred from the first level. If the first level of support is expected to solve 80% of incidents, then the second level of support is expected to solve 75% of the incidents referred to it by the first level, that is, 15% of the number of registered incidents. The remaining incidents are transferred to the third level.
Determination of the causes of problems. The second level of support identifies the causes of problems and suggests workarounds or fixes.