Yes, you read it right – Issue resolution is an art. It needs a skill, imagination & thought process. Issue resolution is not about getting list of issues and just start resolving them one by one until list is finished; its the most unskilled way of resolving issues.
Resolving Production issues was one of a major areas that I owned over a considerable period of my professional experience and thankfully did really well. The most important skill I learnt out of it was CATEGORIZATION of issue. Yes, “DIVIDE and RULE” is the mantra here. Categorizing the issues into buckets and addressing those buckets would help resolving them quickly in relatively shorter time span and doing the root cause analysis (RCA) as well.
Let me present a real time scenario. One fine day, we got a report from our Google Analytics account that we have over 1300 broken links on our CMS driven Website. So, there’s a task at my hand to address them all ASAP. An ugly way to address them is to take one by one and start addressing them and do all the authoring. But, that was not what I learnt from my experience. Rather, I categorize them as below as see what I found:
- Code issues – constitute roughly 36% and that too in same functionality. So, a build took care of all of them in a single go.
- Invalid scenarios – constitute 51%. This involves client-side interaction before redirecting to actual url which is possibly bypassed by tool used to capture the report
- Not reproducible – constitute 2%. Either issue is not reproducible or scenario got obsolete.
- Invalid link – rest 11%. Needed follow up with concerned content producers.
Thus, the complete list of issues got tackled in just 2-3 hours of time frame.
To summarize, please treat issue resolution an artistic job and you will definitely enjoy it especially when you are in maintenance/evolving phase of software life cycle. It doesn’t matter whether you were concerned developer for that issue or not.