Learn about troubleshooting skills and the incident management process.
- [Narrator] Along with problem solving, troubleshooting is a skill that is utilized everyday for service desk personnel all over the world. Solving problems, troubleshooting, and satisfying customers is the name of the game. Troubleshooting involves working within an incident management process and completing tasks within predefined steps. Troubleshooting is defined as the ability to effectively diagnose a customer's issue and implement the most effective solution to resolve the issue. Troubleshooting is focused on using specific skills to resolve a technical issue.
Technical troubleshooting requires knowledge of supported hardware, software, systems, tools, networks, infrastructures, and applications. To be successful at troubleshooting, you should have not only knowledge but an understanding of how these technology components are configured. For example, if we were troubleshooting, let's say, a piece of equipment, we'd have to understand a few key areas, right? We would have to understand how the equipment functions. What does it do? How is it configured? What are the components installed in the equipment? What does each of these components do? How are the components configured? This essential knowledge is required for troubleshooting.
The challenge is, what if you are asked to troubleshoot technology that you've never used before? This knowledge is vital and is an essential part of troubleshooting. So, can technical troubleshooting knowledge be learned? The answer is yes, but it requires fundamental troubleshooting skills and the ability to acquire technical knowledge. In this day and age of technical support, it is impossible to have an in-depth knowledge of all supported technology.
Some organizations support hundreds of applications or products, and it is preferred to hire technicians with product knowledge and experience but it's not always feasible. It is important if you lack specific technical skills, while interviewing for a position, draw on similar experience and troubleshooting skills for answering questions. Also, ask prospective employers about what troubleshooting methodologies and processes they have in place. This will provide valuable insight into processes and how new knowledge is acquired.
Troubleshooting is performed while attempting to resolve incidents via an incident model that is developed as part of your incident management process. So, what does that really mean in relation to troubleshooting? An incident is a break fix issue, a failure in the infrastructure. For example, a customer is using a software tool and is trying to perform a function and keeps getting an error message. The tool is not working properly. This is an incident that needs to be resolved via troubleshooting.
While troubleshooting, the service desk would want to follow the steps outlined in their incident management process, guiding an incident through to resolution. And either working around an incident, restoring service, or resolving an incident is the goal of any incident management process. A technician would need to troubleshoot the issue, confirm the error message, and categorize this issue as an incident. The technician would need to confirm all of the information related to the software. Is this an authorized software for this specific customer? Licensing information? And what version is the customer on? Troubleshooting involves working within the incident management process and resolving incidents by utilizing proper knowledge.
This process includes thirteen steps: accepting, logging, categorizing, prioritizing, diagnosing, escalating, restoring, resolving, or working around the incident, documentation, closing, following up after the incident, following knowledge-based procedures, performing customer satisfaction procedures, and relating to problem management. Could this incident reoccur, or is it a documented problem? While working within this process, we must utilize our technical troubleshooting skills in step five, diagnosing the incident.
This is where we really start the troubleshooting process by diagnosing your questioning, implementing fixes through resolution or restoration, verifying success, and closure. Troubleshooting requires a technician not overlook simple and obvious steps and questions like, "Did the customer reboot?" Retracing the customer's steps that led to the incident, can you replicate the issue? Can you ask if there's an error message, checking Device Manager and logs, and simply asking basic questions that are vital to troubleshooting.
Is anyone else experiencing this issue? Have you had this problem before? If so, and when? Has anything changed since this issue started? Do you experience this issue on another computer, device, or network? What impact does this issue have on you or your team or department? And how is this impacting your work? And lastly, are you seeing a specific error message? So, troubleshooting requires technical skills and knowledge, incident process skills, and a focus on customer service.
To troubleshoot effectively, we need technical knowledge, patience, empathy, process and methodologies defined, active listening skills, questioning skills, analytical skills, and a growth mindset. Effective troubleshooters have a growth mindset when it comes to troubleshooting. Staying positive, not being afraid to fail, and always looking for learning and growth opportunities are all part of a growth mindset.
- Reviewing the responsibilities of service desk roles
- IT service desk problem-solving skills
- Diagnosing errors, incidents, and problems
- Security skills
- Key elements of communication
- Essential service desk skills
- Service desk certification paths
- Microsoft certifications
- Service management certifications
- Future service desk trends