Teach your employees how to troubleshoot a problem

You may be surprised to learn that many of your employees may not know how to troubleshoot client problems.

Let me give you an example. Many years ago I inherited a new IT organization to manage. When I got the responsibility, I knew of one client account that apparently had problems every month, , , their problems were sort of a legend within our company.

Sure enough, at the end of my first month the client CFO calls and asks for the support manager (that’s now me). They were encountering another problem, , , something that seems to happen every month from what he told me.

I asked questions to try and understand what was happening, but couldn’t get any real insight as to what the issue was, , , so I ended the phone call and called in my senior IT people.

I asked them about the situation. In a similar fashion, I heard a lot of generalities but nothing of substance that helped me understand what the real issues were.

We visit the client and conduct a simple assessment at the end of the next month and the problems occur again, but this time we are able to see and understand the cause and effect of what is going on.

The result is that we are able to identify 4 key issues that contribute to the problems this client was having, make recommendations on how to prevent them from happening, and when the client implements these preventive measures it solves the problems from occurring in the future.

The point with this is that my staff was an experienced group of technical people, smart, and conscientious. The problem is that they weren’t using a process to troubleshoot the problems and get to the root issues.

You can’t deal with problems if you do not know what the issues are.

Once we understand the specific issues, we can usually solve or prevent the problems. So, , , observe your employees and verify if they are actually troubleshooting problems so they get to the issues. If not, you probably need to teach them how to get to the bottom of the circumstance.

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