OrgVue problem solving #3: not seeing what you expected?

Sometimes you still can’t work out what’s causing an issue in OrgVue, even after you’ve broken the problem down, and tested all the simple possibilities. In these cases, people often find the most efficient way of getting hold of information is to try the training materials (manual, online videos, knowledegbase), then ask an advanced user/superuser, then contact OrgVue Support if they’re still having trouble.

At this stage, troubleshooting closely resembles the scientific method. First we try to take the observed behaviour and split it into all its component parts. Then we come up with a hypothesis about where the problem might be originating, and test it by making a change, keeping everything else the same and seeing what happens. You might iterate through several theories but as long as you capture all the factors that affect a feature, the potential reasons why each might not be working, and disprove, you’ll discover the reason for failure.

I recently had an issue with an expression not working correctly. After going through the above stages I started to ask questions like:

-        “If it doesn’t work in properties; does it work in the Expressions manager?”

-        “Can it be broken up into smaller expressions that work individually?”

-        “Does it reference any other values or expressions that might be invalid?”

-        “Are there any advanced features involved e.g. settemporary, or lookups, that make it look like the problem is with the expression when it’s actually with another feature?”

The more precise you can be when defining the problem, and methodical when testing it, the easier it will be to rule out its possible causes. This also applies when describing issues you can’t solve to the support desk. For example, descriptions like “my data’s been corrupted” or “the screen’s frozen” could be written more specifically as “the cells in my lookup properties are displaying expressions rather than meaningful values” or “I can’t see the text under the donut icons in tree view”.


This article was authored by Ben Marshall from the OrgVue Consulting Team

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