Asking the right question in troubleshooting is critical to understanding and fixing problems. Read more on Asking the right question in SQL performance Tuning.
Developing Analytical thinking is part of part of the IT education. Solving problems is part of the daily job . Possessing thinking tools assists in solving problems.
A useful approach on developing thinking is Ask the Duck. The basic idea is to get to the fundamentals of the issue by attempting to ask the right question. Quite often ,in the process of framing a question – the answer or good clues appear leading to the right answer. Hwrnmnbsol presents a humorous anecdote on Asking the duck.
How to report a SQL Server problem
Some users are very skilful at reporting problems . Other users are not very skilful. To assist users and to get to the basic issue – I ask for time based evidence. Hours:Minutes:Seconds. Users often report in general terms such as “it’s slow”. OK, what is slow? and how are you measuring it’s slow, is it for example an OLAP report that is taking 30 minutes ? OK, next question , how long does it normally take to complete?