If it has a plug, it's IT stuff

Jul 22 2008   7:40AM GMT

It’s all about methodology



Posted by: alessandro.panzetta
Tags:
IT support
Method
methodology
problem solving

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to understand why the server has EventID XXXX in the system log, it doesn’t matter if you are trying to identify what process is somesowftware.exe that is crunching your memory, it doesn’t even matter if you’re trying to understand what the user on the phone is trying to say while shouting on the phone “This thing doesn’t work!”. It’s all about methodology, once you have your consolidated path just follow it and this will lead you to the solution.

I’ve just changed job position, before I was an IT overall and I was working on development of vertical solutions for an ERP, design and management of Active Directories, end user support and so on; now I’m a Technical Support Engineer Level 2 and handle specific software’s issues by solving or escalating them. In both cases I do solve problems (Winston Wolfe!!!).

Whenever you have someone or something that shows you a problem always remember:

  1. Listen what the problem is
  2. Most of the times the user/customer doesn’t even know how to talk about the problem, keep on listening and try to catch the more information possible even if they are said in Aramaic
  3. Have every logfile, screenshot or error description that you can from the user/customer
  4. Try and reproduce the problem in your labs and try to understand who/what is the culprit
  5. Research possible solutions on the internet, knowledge base, co-workers etc
  6. Document everything like if you are talking to dummies
  7. Solve/escalate the issue

This is my personal path and up to today it took me out of several problems. An example is in this new job position where if I don’t know yet the software I’m providing support for I’m providing support to customers and finding solutions to their problems or simply finding the right person to escalate the problem to.

As I said, it’s all about HOW you do it, sometimes it may be WHEN you do it but remember to seek your personal path and you will have your work done.

2  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Suzanne Wheeler
    [B]Right on![/B] Problem solving is the exact skill set our 'book-learned' brothers and sisters in IT need to brush up on. It's okay to earn certification after certification, but without solid problem solving skills you will falter. When I worked support I kept plenty of scrap paper on hand and wrote notes as I talked with the customer. Often a map of the problem unfolded in front of me as I took notes. Taking notes can also help you listen better by focusing on what the customer is saying rather than thinking about potential solutions. I try to approach each problem with a blank slate that I fill with information from the customer. Only after I have a good picture of the incident do I tap my own knowledge and resources to solve the problem. It took practice to better my support skills but the rewards of job satisfaction from making customers happy were well worth it! Alessandro, keep sharing these great tips. I look forward to more soon!
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  • Suzanne Wheeler
    [B]Right on![/B] Problem solving is the exact skill set our 'book-learned' brothers and sisters in IT need to brush up on. It's okay to earn certification after certification, but without solid problem solving skills you will falter. When I worked support I kept plenty of scrap paper on hand and wrote notes as I talked with the customer. Often a map of the problem unfolded in front of me as I took notes. Taking notes can also help you listen better by focusing on what the customer is saying rather than thinking about potential solutions. I try to approach each problem with a blank slate that I fill with information from the customer. Only after I have a good picture of the incident do I tap my own knowledge and resources to solve the problem. It took practice to better my support skills but the rewards of job satisfaction from making customers happy were well worth it! Alessandro, keep sharing these great tips. I look forward to more soon!
    360 pointsBadges:
    report

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