How to be the best trouble-shooter for your company
If you’re an IT professional, you’re no stranger to high pressure situations, crashing systems and technical problem-solving. You’re probably also constantly experiencing moments of fear when the problem before you seems too large and you’re not sure where to begin. It has to be said that IT certainly isn’t for everyone – you need to be able to stay calm in stressful situations, tackle issues smartly and restore order as fast as possible.
Troubleshooting really is the name of the game and it takes a lot of time, persistence and hard work to become a master at it – and even then, things are constantly evolving and so you’re constantly having to develop. What follows are some tips for how you can attain “rock star trouble-shooter” status and simultaneously lead your juniors in the best way possible.
Know the basics and build a knowledge base
For seasoned professionals this is a given, but it never hurts to keep brushing up on the basics whenever possible. Even after years in IT, you’ll still be learning new things and encountering problems you’ve never dealt before, so in a way, you’ll always be adding to your knowledge base. It can really help to write things down because chances are you’ll encounter similar problems every now and again, and being able to refer to your notes may help you find solutions faster. Knowing the basics will also help provide a solid foundation for all future troubleshooting. More importantly, don’t be afraid to share your knowledge with your less experienced juniors. They’ll appreciate your guidance and you never know, you may even end up learning a thing or two from them.
Train yourself to recognise patterns
The thing that very often separates great trouble-shooters from good ones, is their ability to make connections and spot patterns. IT systems and technologies are very often inter-linked and therefore sometimes it can help to look at another service when one is experiencing issues in order to understand the problem and find a suitable solution. Once you’re able to see patterns, it will become easier for you to identify the source of issues which is likely to decrease the amount of time you end up spending on an individual problem.
You never know it all so keep hunting for information
With experience comes knowledge, of course, but as a trouble-shooter, it’s impossible to reach a point where you know absolutely everything. There is always something new to learn and that’s why it’s important to take the time to research and read as a means of constantly adding to that knowledge base mentioned earlier. In an ever-changing world and one that is digital, true success involves learning all the time and ensuring you keep up to date with the latest trends, news and best practices. Encourage your juniors to do the same and then consider having regular discussions during which you can exchange information.
Have a long-term vision
Troubleshooting shouldn’t be about quick fixes and dealing merely with the symptoms – it should rather be about finding those long-term solutions and doing what can be done now to prevent the same problem from reoccurring again. Trouble-shooters who are really good at what they do have the ability to see down the line and to put things in place now that ensure an eventual outcome that is positive. This takes time and patience but if you’re able to master this skill, your business will be better for it.
If you’re a trouble-shooter then you’re effectively a problem solver, and this a huge and important role to take on. Hopefully the tips here will get you closer to being the best possible trouble-shooter for your company, as well as help you better guide and teach your juniors too.
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