Trouble shooting is defined as a form of problem solving which is applicable to failed machine, system, process and product.
Trouble shooting can be termed as a systematic and logical search for the problem source with the object of solving it. However, the ultimate objective of the whole exercise of trouble shooting is to render the process, product, system or machine operational once again.
Elimination of the Possible Causes to Arrive at the Most Likely Cause
Trouble shooting helps identify and arrive at the most likely cause of the problem though identifying all possible potential causes and then eliminating these potential causes one by one to finally arrive at the most likely cause of the failure. In other words trouble shooting diagnoses the ultimate trouble that may have led to the breakdown of the system, product, process or machine.
Typically the trouble shooting is applied to something which has stopped working all of a sudden which was otherwise was not showing any such signs. So how is the process started?
It commences by focusing on the most recent changes to the environment in which the machine, product, process or the system operated or the most recent changes to the machine, product, process or system itself. However, it also has ample room for the fact that the recent most change may not be entirely responsible for the breakdown as certain failures are a result of the normal wear and tear process and may not be solely attributed to the recent most event.
The basic principle of the trouble shooting entails starting from the most probable and simplest problems that may be attributed to the breakdown, compiling these and then eliminating the probable causes to finally arrive at the most probable and likely cause.
Trouble shooting also takes into consideration the fact that there may be no single cause of the breakdown or failure. Therefore, it takes into account that the failure may be the outcome of more than one factor, error or failure. The multiple problems particularly stand true for the fault tolerant systems which are naturally more resilient to failures and the ones with built-in-redundancy.
Similarly, it also takes into account that the very features which add fault detection, redundancy, fail over or fault detection to a system may themselves be subject to failure. On another note the failure of different components may also be attributed to the breakdown of the system.
Therefore, even in the simplest system the trouble shooter should give due consideration to the factor that more than one fault may be responsible for the failure or the breakdown of the process, machine, product or system.