IT Support , , ,

How to troubleshoot and document IT issues & challenges

Consultation & Assessment

When having a problem within the IT environment, it can be difficult to pinpoint the issue. There are many problems you can face within the environment. Being able to find the problem sometimes mean checking multiple avenues: is it a storage problem? Network problem? Being able to figure out what kind of problem you are facing, can actually sometimes be difficult. Knowing where the problem is originating from, or what the root issue is, is the first step in the assessment process:

  • Identify the problem. Is it a systemic issue happening across the entire environment, or it’s only isolated to one computer, one system or one particular area within the environment? Try to determine first: what is the issue? Start looking at the particulars:
  • Is there a certain time of the day when the issue occurs?
  • Is it a problem that repeats every day? If not every day, which days does it happen?
  • How long has the problem been happening for?
  • Was there a change within the environment that caused the problem to start happening?Once the problem is identified, start troubleshooting:
  • Is this a known issue?
  • Have you tried searching/Googling for the problem online?
  • Have you checked online forums for the issue?
  • Log the troubleshooting steps you take in a ticketing system so you can check the steps you did later
  • Document the steps with screenshots and other notes for advanced step by step
  • Are you able to resolve the problem through troubleshooting?Helpful tips:
  • Test, test and document – make sure you’re making changes to a test environment, not to production
  • Only roll out changes to in-production systems during off hours, and after extensive testing
  • Extensive testing should provide the confidence needed to make the necessary changes to the production environment – again, only once long testing periods are completed with documented results
  • Observe the results and report
  • Is the issue completely resolved?
  • What is the impact to the business? Does resolving the problem help alleviate other problems? How so? Document the outcome
  • Now that the issue is resolved, is there next steps or recurring steps that must be completed?
  • If so, what is the optimal, or automated method in which to ensure continual resolution?
  • Is there preventative measures that must be taken?