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Step 4: Prioritize Hypotheses and Narrow Focus

This is the step where we stop making work for ourselves and start making our jobs easier. Although we've just made a list of things that could be the problem, we don't want to research every item on the list if we don't have to. Instead, we can prioritize the potential causes and chase down the most likely ones first. Eventually, we'll either solve the problem or run out of possible causes (in which case we need to go back to Step 3).

As you're prioritizing your list, pay particular attention to recent changes. These are often the source of your problems. Changes meant to improve the environment often have unintended consequences.

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