Finding the Right Fault is the Key to Superior Incident Investigation

Nov 26, 2014 4:35:00 PM

How often do you have incidents that take far too long to resolve or restore service? Do your Incident Statements have fault wording like Slow, Degraded, Poor performance, etc? If this is the case, then this vague wording is a primary reason why! Wording like this should be banned from incident statements.

The incident statement is the foundation of everything that is about to unfold in the incident investigation. If this step is not accurate or too vague, then the incident is very likely to become long and drawn out.

Always ask yourself, “How many possible causes could there be for this incident statement?” If the answer is many or hundreds, then your statement is too vague. This will lead to unnecessary changes being backed out, which may cause other incidents, and drastically extended timeframes and wasted resource utilisation. 

You need a specific questioning drill to get the foundation statement right and specific from the beginning, so the information/facts that you gather are relevant and concise. This will help to ensure that they inspire the correct intuition from the investigation team.

Investigation teams need to be more specific when they are given vague Fault information like 'slow' or 'degraded' or 'not working’. 

They need to ask:rootcause
  • What is slow?

  • What do you mean by slow? Time slow? Data throughput slow? Transmission speed slow? WHAT IS SLOW???

  • What do you mean by Not Working???

You can see by this questioning that people can be much more specific and this then leads to a more specific object that is experiencing the fault. Often the team does not have the information to be more specific. THIS IS A GOOD THING as the team will be finding out new specific information about their incident and this could lead to immediate resolution.

Some examples os this drill in action can be seen in the video links below;
When you have the correct or the most specific FAULT, then you will always be able to find the correct Object that is experiencing that fault! 

This simple step will improve incident investigations by up to 50%!!
For more information on finding the root cause in incident investigation, Learn More

Andrew Sauter

Written by Andrew Sauter

Sydney, Australia | Partner of Thinking Dimensions Global
Andrew provides consulting, facilitation and implementation of proven tools and techniques to remove unnecessary costs, for both IT & Business in any industry, by empowering staff and the organization's culture with the essential skills required to address any situation at any level. Andrew’s strength lies in having an in-depth knowledge of IT and IT departments, which enable tangible results to the major IT challenges experienced by Top 1000 companies.


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