Several problem solving techniques are described in the ITIL v3 Problem Management process volume. One of these techniques is the Chronological Analysis .
Chronological Analysis is a simple, commonsense approach towards tracking down the root cause of a problem.
Chronological Analysis works by piecing together a timeline of activities working back from the problem being raised or otherwise bought to the attention of the relevant staff.
From this point the staff will work backwards in time and place events, activities related to the problem in order.This forces a structured review of the problem, rather than an ad-hoc approach that could just as likely miss the actual cause.