Troubleshooting | A long-term approach

Everyone troubleshoots in their own way, but the overall goal is the same: we all want to solve an issue as quickly as possible in order to offer the best service to our customer. But, this does not mean that the ‘quick fix’ has to be short-sighted. There are many pitfalls and missed opportunities. The way the engineer troubleshoots DOES MATTER! In this blogpost, I want to give you more insights into SecureLink’s holistic and long-term troubleshooting approach through these 5 steps:

The short-sighted approach to solving a problem

1 Isolate the problem

When a customer provides you with the description of the issue, a lot of details are often missing. Some things might also get misinterpreted. When you use these false premises, the troubleshooting can be inefficient and misguided. This might distort the cost and time of the resolution.

To avoid this, you should ask the customer very clear questions. This list will serve as a very conceptual guide which helps you isolate the issue in a very quick way:

  • What are the symptoms?
  • Can you give an example of an occurrence of the issue?
    • Time and date
    • List users (usernames) and environments (IP addresses)
  • How frequently does the issue occur? At what time and day?
  • What are the versions of the relevant components?
  • What is the impact on the business?
  • Were there recent relevant changes?
  • Which troubleshooting has already occurred?

Nice to know: Juniper Networks also provides a list of useful methods: https://www.juniper.net/documentation/software/cable/junosg30/swcmdref30/html/strategies2.html

During the troubleshooting, it’s easy to be susceptible to fallacies in your reasoning. Using common sense and the actual data in the steps below will lead you to a solid solution.

2 Research the isolated problem

Having the issue isolated enables you to research it and gather information about the symptoms, causes and solutions. Knowledge bases, guides and training manuals can be valuable sources to gather knowledge.

3 Collect logs

Logs provide a better overview of the problem and the situation. They can confirm the isolated symptoms and the research information. They are also important for the next steps after which the logs, before and after the fix, can be compared.

4 Solve the problem

Communicating the problem, root cause and fix to the customer is essential. Ideally, this can be done using the logs and the research to back up the information.

After the necessary actions are taken to solve the issue, a closing report can be given to the customer.

5 Communicate to peers

A lot of potential information is often lost after solving a problem if the engineer does not communicate to his peers or to the customer. The KB article that was used to solve the issue can very be valuable to the next case handled by a colleague. Giving the right feedback to relevant people can prevent the issue in the future.

Troubleshooting and its case lifecycle

At SecureLink, we strive to provide the quickest and best solution for our customers by choosing the right methodology.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions. We are here to help you.

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2018-10-18T08:38:48+00:00October 17th, 2018|

About the Author:

Lieven Laurensse
Lieven Laurensse, Service Desk Consultant at SecureLink Belgium
SecureLink Belgium