By sdw on Feb 22, 2006
We did have Sun equipment in the customer site, and it was having problems, and it had been identified that the Sun equipment was a victim of a much more subtle problem to do with the links between two computer sites. The customer was hugely advanced in their understanding of the problem, and the answer to “Where on the object” was really clear. They had excellent "what" data, and acknowledged that there was no chance of getting the lifecycle information as the problem occurred 100 times during terabytes of data transfer over days of full production usage.
Having all the suppliers in one room, providing their view of the problem was enlightening to all – some suppliers had a view of the application, some of the underlying network infrastructure and others had the physical rack and cable view.
There was no resolution to the problem identified during the
facilitation – many actions to take and more importantly many
actions that no longer needed taking as those actions were not
essential to the resolution of the problem. The possible causes
appeared to be centered on one supplier's hardware not doing quite what
it should, so the lens of attention was focused tightly on that
Oh, and the very nice man from IBM clearly recognised what
troubleshooting method I was using and came up with some marvelously
incisive questions to forward our understanding of the symptoms still
further. It felt really good to have a peer supplier in the room
recognise the troubleshooting process we were using and actively engage
For me the key learning points were;
- the reinforcement that
getting the right people in the room is not enough – following a
structured analytic technique saved us all time, made the problem
very clear and took the audience with the technical staff so that
everyone understood by the end of the day what the issues were. Even
I understood them.
- that the capability of SGRT can be used as a Customer
Relationship offering to assist our customers with the management of
problems (Incidents in ITIL language).
For the End-to-End implementation of KT-Resolve / SGRT / [whatever
the process is known by in the client company] throughout the computer
industry to fully succeed we need customers to call for the use of a
rational approach. It should no longer be a matter of serial trial
fixes tacking toward a lucky break - big companies concentrate on what
their customers demand. Sun's customers should demand a rational
approach to problem management (and some already do), and Sun now has
the capability worldwide to handle problem / incident management in a