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How Do You Handle Pressure During High Priority Calls?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Ultra_Tech, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Ultra_Tech

    Ultra_Tech New Member

    Hello All

    How do you handle the pressure of fixing a "Priority 1" call, this is especially for those who have worked/currently working in support environments.

    Do you take your time with the issue and attempt to methodologically work through the issue from start to finish in an organized fashion, knowing that this approach will probably mean site stays down for longer (because you are working through the problem thoroughly?)

    Or, do you just throw everything you can at the issue in an attempt to get it fixed as soon as possible? Meaning that you might get the initial incident fixed asap, BUT, if you don't you essentially have to start from Square one again and re-investigate the issue more thoroughly.

    I hope this question makes sense, when I get a P1, I always feel this massive internal pressure to get it resolved by any means asap and I think sometimes I miss little things which would help me resolve it a little faster because I am so consumed by getting the customer up and running as soon as possible.

    How you do you handle the high pressure situations in your roles and what methodologies do you use to make sure you get them fixed appropriately?
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  2. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    You answered your own question: if you don't use the methodical approach you miss the little things. So the haphazard bombardment approach can often be detrimental to the resolution. Always go methodically.

    I have a set range of fixes. I always think "have I seen this before" and search the service desk to see if this issue has affected the customer before. I ask the customer if there's anything environmental going on (if relevant to the fault). Then I go to the event logs (if I can) to get some relevant info for either further SD searches, quickly sounding out the issue in the office or, as is our wont as IT engineers, Googling ;)

    For example, the customer has one internet line, and their internet goes down.

    1) is the router turned on
    2) has the customer moved said router or plugged another piece of equipment in to that line
    3) are there ISP issues in the area
    4) restart the router
    5) is it in sync when it powers on
    6) what are the status lights after the restart

    ... etc etc. You get the idea. The more experienced you get, the less a P1 call will make you flap, because you'll start building up an internal KB of how to approach the different problems and the different customers.

    But always ALWAYS the methodical approach. The biggest problem I have with the "throw everything" approach is that you end up trying three or four solutions at once, and when it mysteriously starts working you don't actually *know* what you did to fix it.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
    BigG likes this.
  3. FlashDangerpants

    FlashDangerpants Nibble Poster

    Sometimes when there is a P1 you have an onsite guy panicking and just rebooting randomly selected stuff. The first step in resolving those issues is to tell that guy to take his hands off the keyboard and step away from the computer.
    Certifications: MCITP Exchange 2010, MCSA Svr 2012
    WIP: Exchange 2013
  4. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    Definitely, I had one recently of a similar type. A client with 2 internet lines and an on-site sbs server stopped receiving emails. I started stepping through methodically, can they access files, can I access the server etc etc. I connected to the server and was almost immediately booted off as the guy on site panicked and held the power button in.

    Eventual resolution: blown power supply on the router for their second line, incoming email fell over because it was all pointed at that lines external IP. Nothing wrong with the server, all solved with a £25 plug.

    If you don't approach things methodically you can miss the obvious, the most important thing though is to make sure whoever you are dealing with knows that you are working on it and you will resolve the issue as fast as possible but these things can take time.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  5. jvanassen

    jvanassen Kilobyte Poster

    Never let people rush you or put you on the edge of your seat. I'm sure alot of other people can relate to this also but i work in an environment where just clicking around and making changes to settings can put other clients projects at risk which run on that same server.
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, Network+, CCENT
    WIP: ICND2 200-101
  6. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

    Few more details needed please. How drunk am I? How many P1's am I doing? I didn't get the memo saying failure was an option!
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  7. BigG

    BigG Nibble Poster

    Arroryn hit the nail on the head. Work through it methodically and not only will you fix it, but learn the "signs" of the issue, the next time a similar fault occurs, it will hopefully let you fix that P1 quicker.

    "I always feel this massive internal pressure" - sounds like you're your own worst enemy here. Where I am a P1 is a resolution within 4 hours. I can take a P1 and make myself a coffee without turning to a jibbering wreck (I've even been known to have my lunch during this time :ohmy ).

    Who's putting the pressure on you?
    If it's yourself, chill out a bit and take the time to learn the issue and the resolution.
    If it's your boss, chill out a bit and take the time to learn the issue and the resolution. You will always get more qudos fixing the issue once. Fixing it 3 times in the same time you would take to do it slowly makes you look a pratt - even if the end result is a fix.


    Certifications: BSc, Prince2 Practitioner, MCSA Win7, MCSA 2008
    WIP: Vmware, ITILv3 on the back burner
    Fafster likes this.
  8. Ultra_Tech

    Ultra_Tech New Member

    Guys, I just wanted to say thanks for the responses. Ironically, after I made this thread, I seemed to attract P1 calls like flies to the "proverbial", I still think I have improvements to make and it's good to hear other people's experiences and advice.

    What kind of P1's are you guys dealing with and how did you resolve? It would be great to hear.

    Last P1 i worked on was yesterday, some body in our team ran a script which marked 3,000 members in the clients database and then the client basically said that the script had ruined the system and asked for a backup of the database to be restored (which would cause loss of data since last backup). It caused a major panic and an incident meeting to discuss a way forward. I kept in mind what you guys were saying and tried not to get panicked into rushing any work I was doing to help, if anything I think in those situations, you should take your time as you don't want to replace one mess up with another one.
  9. TheNetworkGuru

    TheNetworkGuru New Member

    The first thing I do is assure the caller that I'm on it and won't let go until it's resolved properly (this generally takes a good bit of the pressure off - the caller calms down to a level you can work with). The recommendations above are excellent, but I'd like to add this: sometimes the priority will dictate that you simply get it running ASAP (quick fix) and fix it properly afterward.

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