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Published On: June 20, 2019 by Blake Schwank

It can be incredibly frustrating to be in the middle of your work and suddenly realize that you’re having problems with your technology that brings your productivity to a screeching halt. There are a few simple steps that will help your IT team get to the root cause of your problem quickly. Sure, it might take you an extra few seconds to think through the questions and what they’re likely to ask you, but that can help save a significant amount of time. Whether you are working with an external IT team or your internal staff, here are a few pieces of information that your IT team needs to quickly solve your problem.

1. What’s the Key Issue?

The first item your technology partners will need is a firm understanding of exactly what the problem is. Here’s where you want to be as specific as possible, including details such as:

  • Whether you’re able to turn your computer on and have it launch successfully
  • If there are specific applications that are not working, e.g. your web browser or Microsoft Office suite, be sure to share that information as well

Be sure you also share exactly what happened before the problem occurred, such as “I just rebooted my system before I noticed the issue”.

2. Who is Being Affected?

The next item your technology team will want to know is the extent of the issue that you’re experiencing. There is a much different troubleshooting pattern that IT professionals will follow if the issue is localized to your computer versus being something that affects the entire organization. Ask around to see if there are others having the same problem or if they might be experiencing a different situation.

3. When Did the Situation Occur?

Is the problem something that’s been ongoing for quite some time — several hours or a few days — or is it a problem that just cropped up a few minutes ago? Your technology team takes these three questions and uses that information, along with their knowledge of what they have been doing, to form a plan of attack to get you back up and running as quickly as possible. For example, if something started happening an hour or so ago, your IT team may realize that a specific patch they implemented may be causing the problem and they can either roll it back or research a quick fix.

Without the knowledge that these three pieces of information impart, your internal or outsourced IT team could effectively be flying blind. Taking the few minutes required to ask around, determine the timeline and scope of the issue and who else might be affected will help get your systems back to their standard working order that much more quickly. Plus, your IT team will be grateful that you stopped to complete some due diligence before reaching out for assistance!

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