Investigate a Problem

In this unit you will become aware that problem solving should be carried out in a systematic manner – it should not he carried out in a haphazard fashion.

You will learn about troubleshooting approaches such as linear and half-split.

In order to approach any troubleshooting problem, regardless of the approach taken, a sequence of steps will be required to be followed.  An example of such a sequence of steps is given below, (this may be adapted for use in different situations):

  • Identify the symptoms of the problem
  • Identify the area affected
  • Identify any recently-applied changes
  • Identify the most likely source of the problem
  • Implement the solution
  • Test the solution
  • Analyse the possible effects of the solution
  • Document everything throughout the process

When we look at different process and types of troubleshooting technique, you will find that they are all based around this model.

Many people may fail to realise the importance of documentation when troubleshooting, this is an important part of the troubleshooting process that cannot be overlooked.
Documentation may range from eliciting an initial fault report from a customer, through completion of a fault report sheet to completing a summary of the fault and its solution.
This documentation may become part of a resource database of faults that can assist in solving future problems.

You cannot be expected to know every fault that can occur on a computer system. Manufacturers’ documentation and websites along with resources such as Internet forums can have a role to play in the troubleshooting process and may result in significant time savings. This is not a failing and is accepted practice in industry.

Next: Approaches to Problem Solving