Define the desired performance. Define the deviation from that performance. This is the real problem.
Analyze the cause of the deviation, based on a combination of practical and technical knowledge.
Use all available resources. Do not attempt to solve the problem single-handedly. Input from both technical and non-technical personnel operators, maintenance mechanics, process engineers, etc., can be invaluable. Obtain the manufacturer’s input as appropriate.
Accurate and current performance and maintenance records should be maintained on all equipment. Use these records as a valuable source of data to identify changes since the unit was last operating properly.
Keep an open mind. Avoid jumping to conclusions. Make every attempt to obtain and analyze all relevant facts. Do not resist changing conclusions if warranted by discovery of new information.
Take corrective action to eliminate the cause.
Monitor performance following corrective action.
Document the important points and communicate to those who will benefit from the knowledge gained.