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6 Best Practises for Effective IT Troubleshooting

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Monitoring and debugging a computer system may be a time-consuming and stressful undertaking. 

An issue that might have been fixed in 10 minutes with improved troubleshooting tools and techniques is not uncommon among IT workers.

It does not have to be a costly endeavour to improve IT troubleshooting and monitoring. Most of the time, all it takes is the implementation of a few company-wide rules.

Maintenance troubleshooting may be both a science and an art form at the same time.  Artists are famed for their beauty, but they are not known for their efficiency.

As troubleshooting progresses, it may shed the trial-and-error label and become an entirely scientific endeavour. Therefore, it aids technicians in identifying the correct issues and remedies faster. 

A well-executed troubleshooting process may help your maintenance operation handle backlog, loss of production, and compliance challenges much more effectively.

What is troubleshooting?

It is merely a reality of life that systems will fail at some point in time.

Equipment malfunctions may occur for no apparent cause, whether it is a conveyor belt or an industrial drill, and we have all encountered it at one point or another. It is a real pain!

When an issue is not immediately apparent, troubleshooting is the only way to figure it out.

Troubleshooting often follows a four-step process: identify the issue, prepare a response, test the solution, and fix the problem.

How is maintenance troubleshooting often done?

An asset breaks down and no one understands why.

With the help of the operator, you study the instructions on the asset and review your own notes. No matter what you do, you can not get the machine to start operating again.

The asset is still out of operation when you are called away to another emergency before you can attempt a third or fourth feasible remedy.

If a facility depends on paper records or Excel spreadsheets for maintenance troubleshooting, this is generally the case. 

According to the procedure, the most probable reason for the breakdown is determined by gathering information from a wide range of sources. 

Troubleshooting is always necessary, but the way information is acquired may turn it into an absolute nightmare.

Why is troubleshooting so important in maintenance?

The only purpose of troubleshooting is to deal with unexpected equipment failures.

There would be no need to troubleshoot an issue if assets never broke down without any obvious symptoms of approaching failure.

Despite this, we know that is not the case at all. This is not always the case with asset failure.

Yes, maintenance teams may utilise preventative maintenance and condition-based maintenance to decrease the chance of unexpected downtime.

However, you can not completely get rid of it.

The best thing you can do is put systems in place to minimise failure and rectify it as quickly as possible when it does. Troubleshooting skills are essential in this situation.

In order to make troubleshooting less time-consuming and more productive, here are six recommended practises.

1. Collect sufficient data to reproduce the problem:

You can not repair anything if you can not reproduce it. Even still, “I can not login” is a common issue description for the support desk.

The IT administrator assigned to the ticket and the employee who reported the problem have been exchanging emails ever since.

It is easy to lose track of days in the pursuit of additional knowledge. Those were expensive times.

However, you can visit Tech TroubleShooters for answers to your problems.

2. Use your logs to get actionable information:

As with an incomplete help desk request, logs that emit incomplete information impede troubleshooting attempts as well.

Most logging frameworks allow you to customise the output of your logs in various ways. It is critical that all log formats provide detailed descriptions of the data they record. 

Besides the time and date, the log entry should specify the source (such as a MAC or IP address) and a message field outlining the purpose of the log entry. 

In addition, a data field that follows a standardised format and contains specific information about the object or event being recorded is helpful. 

For system troubleshooting, learn more about log analysis.

3. Make source-code-level error output that is helpful:

What can you infer from the error message? It is nothing more than that a wrong number was detected. Because of this, you have no clue how to fix the problem or what the problem is. 

Just finding the problem’s root will take a significant amount of time, and that does not take into consideration the time it will take to cure it.

4. Do not confuse symptoms with the underlying reason:

Finding the source of a problem and resolving it are two different things.

Effective troubleshooting relies on pinpointing the exact source of the issue and documenting it thoroughly to prevent it from recurring. 

To meet a deadline, you may only be able to temporarily solve a problem if you are in a rush and cannot find the underlying reason.

5. Use correlation IDs and a thorough logging system:

An application’s distributed behaviour includes many more aspects than just making a request to a backend server from a web page.

Data may be sent to a message broker, database, or another web API from a single request to the server’s back-end. 

It means that the operational data will be recorded in logs that reach far beyond the web server.

Consequently You will need a mechanism to track the aggregation and transformation of data at all stages along the transaction’s path when it comes to resolution time.

6. Predictive analytics and system monitoring:

System monitors nowadays are capable of much more than just collecting and storing data. Monitors of the modern day are intelligent enough to maintain track of the system in which they are at all times. 

The log data generated by a machine may be consolidated into a single output by use of a system monitor. 

It will also monitor CPU, memory, and disk consumption on endpoints and give real-time warnings of known faults or urgent occurrences.

Bringing Everything Together!

Troubleshooting is an inescapable part of working in today’s IT world. Moreover, it is necessary to build continuous improvement into the revision process, and this step is critical.

Troubleshooting efforts will be more efficient and less expensive if you follow the six recommended practises outlined above.

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