It is rare that the statement “nothing is working” actually means that nothing is working. More often than not a lot is working perfectly fine. That’s why identifying what is working is just as helpful as knowing what is not working. Here are a couple of general questions that help isolating an issue. They can be applied to pretty much any problem.


  • Who is experiencing the issue? (all users, some users, one user, only admins)
  • How frequent is the issue? (always, always when I do certain things, sporadic when I do certain things, sporadic)
  • Is the issue attributed to specific environmental factors? (e.g. type of web browser, version of OS, machine running necessary software, physical location, etc.)


Answers to these questions, followed by issue-specific questions, can significantly reduce the time to isolate an issue and finding its cause.