SLA Principles

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Definition

A Service Level Agreement (SLA), is an agreement between two parties, where one is the customer and the other, is the service provider. The agreement may be contractual, or may be based on internal standards or policies, by which you measure yourself.

An alternative perspective is that an SLA is an exercise in expectation management. How long should I expect to obtain a response or resolution? Failing to meet expectations is one thing, failing to set expectations takes you into territory that you may have no control over.
 
Core Concepts

The definition and measurement of time is central to the practical aspects of an SLA i.e. How much time is given to achieve specific outcomes? SLA specifications normally state time in either clock (24x7x365) or business hours. Business hours typically reflect your business working hours during a week period.

By example, 4 business hours, could fall within a business day or could span a business day depending on when the ticket is received. Similarly, it could span a weekend and even a bank holiday. If you're a global organization, you may also need to define and use multiple business hour specifications to reflect different time zones. A business hour is same unit of measure, but the start and end time of the day will be different.

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SLAs often consist of a number of measurable events, such as an Initial Response, related to when the agent makes the first public comment back to the requester. Other event examples include ongoing updates, workarounds and solve times. The event periods often need to be in units as low as a few minutes and need to be exact to within a minute.

SLAs can be global, product or plan related, as well as specific to a particular customer. They also often have different time periods for different levels of assigned priority.

Actions as a consequence of not meeting include recording a violation, notification emails, and even re-assignment to mitigate a failure to meet commitments. Being proactive can significantly improve your performance. 

Example SLA

This is typical simple, one plan, two event, SLA specification:

  First ResponseSolve
Urgent 30 mins 2 hours
High  1 hour 4 hours
Normal  8 hours 16 hours
Low  16 hours 40 hours

 

Times shown are business hours, 9am to 5pm (EST), Mon-Sat, excluding US observed public holidays.

Variations include:

  • Adding more event types, such as: agent assignment, ongoing updates, ... 
  • Cell level overrides e.g. Urgent 24x7 instead of business hours
  • Some times N/A for some priority levels
  • Custom priorities (names and/or more than values)
  • Specific terminology (event type names)
  • Pre-warning times required
  • More SLA Plans e.g. Gold/Silver/Bronze | Product A/B/C | Customer Specific
  • Definition
  • Core Concepts
  • Example SLA

SLA Principles

Sub Banner

SLA Principles

Definition

A Service Level Agreement (SLA), is an agreement between two parties, where one is the customer and the other, is the service provider. The agreement may be contractual, or may be based on internal standards or policies, by which you measure yourself.

An alternative perspective is that an SLA is an exercise in expectation management. How long should I expect to obtain a response or resolution? Failing to meet expectations is one thing, failing to set expectations takes you into territory that you may have no control over.
 
Core Concepts

The definition and measurement of time is central to the practical aspects of an SLA i.e. How much time is given to achieve specific outcomes? SLA specifications normally state time in either clock (24x7x365) or business hours. Business hours typically reflect your business working hours during a week period.

By example, 4 business hours, could fall within a business day or could span a business day depending on when the ticket is received. Similarly, it could span a weekend and even a bank holiday. If you're a global organization, you may also need to define and use multiple business hour specifications to reflect different time zones. A business hour is same unit of measure, but the start and end time of the day will be different.

.
SLAs often consist of a number of measurable events, such as an Initial Response, related to when the agent makes the first public comment back to the requester. Other event examples include ongoing updates, workarounds and solve times. The event periods often need to be in units as low as a few minutes and need to be exact to within a minute.

SLAs can be global, product or plan related, as well as specific to a particular customer. They also often have different time periods for different levels of assigned priority.

Actions as a consequence of not meeting include recording a violation, notification emails, and even re-assignment to mitigate a failure to meet commitments. Being proactive can significantly improve your performance. 

Example SLA

This is typical simple, one plan, two event, SLA specification:

  First ResponseSolve
Urgent 30 mins 2 hours
High  1 hour 4 hours
Normal  8 hours 16 hours
Low  16 hours 40 hours

 

Times shown are business hours, 9am to 5pm (EST), Mon-Sat, excluding US observed public holidays.

Variations include:

  • Adding more event types, such as: agent assignment, ongoing updates, ... 
  • Cell level overrides e.g. Urgent 24x7 instead of business hours
  • Some times N/A for some priority levels
  • Custom priorities (names and/or more than values)
  • Specific terminology (event type names)
  • Pre-warning times required
  • More SLA Plans e.g. Gold/Silver/Bronze | Product A/B/C | Customer Specific
  • Definition
  • Core Concepts
  • Example SLA

SLA Principles

Sub Banner

Definition

A Service Level Agreement (SLA), is an agreement between two parties, where one is the customer and the other, is the service provider. The agreement may be contractual, or may be based on internal standards or policies, by which you measure yourself.

An alternative perspective is that an SLA is an exercise in expectation management. How long should I expect to obtain a response or resolution? Failing to meet expectations is one thing, failing to set expectations takes you into territory that you may have no control over.
 
Core Concepts

The definition and measurement of time is central to the practical aspects of an SLA i.e. How much time is given to achieve specific outcomes? SLA specifications normally state time in either clock (24x7x365) or business hours. Business hours typically reflect your business working hours during a week period.

By example, 4 business hours, could fall within a business day or could span a business day depending on when the ticket is received. Similarly, it could span a weekend and even a bank holiday. If you're a global organization, you may also need to define and use multiple business hour specifications to reflect different time zones. A business hour is same unit of measure, but the start and end time of the day will be different.

.
SLAs often consist of a number of measurable events, such as an Initial Response, related to when the agent makes the first public comment back to the requester. Other event examples include ongoing updates, workarounds and solve times. The event periods often need to be in units as low as a few minutes and need to be exact to within a minute.

SLAs can be global, product or plan related, as well as specific to a particular customer. They also often have different time periods for different levels of assigned priority.

Actions as a consequence of not meeting include recording a violation, notification emails, and even re-assignment to mitigate a failure to meet commitments. Being proactive can significantly improve your performance. 

Example SLA

This is typical simple, one plan, two event, SLA specification:

  First ResponseSolve
Urgent 30 mins 2 hours
High  1 hour 4 hours
Normal  8 hours 16 hours
Low  16 hours 40 hours

 

Times shown are business hours, 9am to 5pm (EST), Mon-Sat, excluding US observed public holidays.

Variations include:

  • Adding more event types, such as: agent assignment, ongoing updates, ... 
  • Cell level overrides e.g. Urgent 24x7 instead of business hours
  • Some times N/A for some priority levels
  • Custom priorities (names and/or more than values)
  • Specific terminology (event type names)
  • Pre-warning times required
  • More SLA Plans e.g. Gold/Silver/Bronze | Product A/B/C | Customer Specific
  • Definition
  • Core Concepts
  • Example SLA

SLA Principles

Sub Banner

SLA Principles

Definition

A Service Level Agreement (SLA), is an agreement between two parties, where one is the customer and the other, is the service provider. The agreement may be contractual, or may be based on internal standards or policies, by which you measure yourself.

An alternative perspective is that an SLA is an exercise in expectation management. How long should I expect to obtain a response or resolution? Failing to meet expectations is one thing, failing to set expectations takes you into territory that you may have no control over.
 
Core Concepts

The definition and measurement of time is central to the practical aspects of an SLA i.e. How much time is given to achieve specific outcomes? SLA specifications normally state time in either clock (24x7x365) or business hours. Business hours typically reflect your business working hours during a week period.

By example, 4 business hours, could fall within a business day or could span a business day depending on when the ticket is received. Similarly, it could span a weekend and even a bank holiday. If you're a global organization, you may also need to define and use multiple business hour specifications to reflect different time zones. A business hour is same unit of measure, but the start and end time of the day will be different.

.
SLAs often consist of a number of measurable events, such as an Initial Response, related to when the agent makes the first public comment back to the requester. Other event examples include ongoing updates, workarounds and solve times. The event periods often need to be in units as low as a few minutes and need to be exact to within a minute.

SLAs can be global, product or plan related, as well as specific to a particular customer. They also often have different time periods for different levels of assigned priority.

Actions as a consequence of not meeting include recording a violation, notification emails, and even re-assignment to mitigate a failure to meet commitments. Being proactive can significantly improve your performance. 

Example SLA

This is typical simple, one plan, two event, SLA specification:

  First ResponseSolve
Urgent 30 mins 2 hours
High  1 hour 4 hours
Normal  8 hours 16 hours
Low  16 hours 40 hours

 

Times shown are business hours, 9am to 5pm (EST), Mon-Sat, excluding US observed public holidays.

Variations include:

  • Adding more event types, such as: agent assignment, ongoing updates, ... 
  • Cell level overrides e.g. Urgent 24x7 instead of business hours
  • Some times N/A for some priority levels
  • Custom priorities (names and/or more than values)
  • Specific terminology (event type names)
  • Pre-warning times required
  • More SLA Plans e.g. Gold/Silver/Bronze | Product A/B/C | Customer Specific
  • Definition
  • Core Concepts
  • Example SLA