Making life easier with SLA

    Sooner or later, when organizing technical support in a more or less large organization, you have to deal with this: with SLA.

    And here a number of problems arise, successfully solving which you can greatly simplify your life.
    So suppose that in our organization there are the following units, in addition to IT:

    • administration-management and female secretaries in every possible way helping them,
    • sellers - wishing to work remotely, "the legs feed the wolf more",
    • logisticians - who are in charge of procurement / warehouse / supply / transport, and who wish to live well,
    • accounting - accounting in total in monetary terms,
    • personnel - the solution of all issues with hires, vacations, absences and health of staff,
    • safety - so that nothing is stolen,
    • marketers - how can a site be without them.

    And let us have a catalog of services from 11 positions:

    • workplaces,
    • print
    • 1C warehouse,
    • 1C accounting and personnel,
    • Office software
    • website,
    • The Internet,
    • Internal network
    • Telephony,
    • CCTV and ACS,
    • VPN - remote workstations.

    So, if you want to do everything in science , but don’t really go into the essence of support organization processes, you will have to conclude a lot of SLAs because Each unit needs its own set of services with its own generally support conditions, of which there are at least two: VIP and standard, but other options are possible, especially if the company is located in several time zones.

    And it becomes clear that even such a small number of basic parameters can easily generate about 60 SLA. That is, of course, there will be 7 agreements with departments, but each of them will have 7-10 services with various options for responding and deadlines for elimination.

    Optimize It - Typical SLAs

    What will happen if you rely on statistics and the Pareto rule and listen lessfantasiescustomer requirements on the topic of quality and urgency and discontent of the bosses with explanations that in order to satisfy all the Wishlist businesses, is it necessary or 3-4 more people?
    And the fact that by measuring the deadlines for fulfilling applications and customer satisfaction, the following parameters can be determined for each service:

    • the level suits 80% of customers, which will allow for the majority of claims to take the position supported by statistics that the services provided to a particular unit are generally of high quality and much worse than the average for the company,
    • who (maybe personally) should provide a VIP service.

    This will reduce the number of options for providing each service to 1-3 options and, using the collected statistics on terms and satisfaction, to refute too high expectations for the timing of the response. What this gives is a typical SLA, which instead of 60 may already be 25-30, which is noticeably less, especially if the SLA structure will take the form of a framework agreement consisting of the main body and a set of applications-SLA. But these SLAs still need to be concluded.

    We will optimize further - SLA offer

    The fact that we already have statistics and are able to distinguish VIP from “not VIP”, we can think about the following moment: “an employee of the company, applying for a specific service, thereby agrees with the terms of its provision, published publicly .
    Which almost immediately leads us to the conclusion that the SLA can essentially be concluded at the time of applying for the service, if it is presented in the form of an Offer .

    With this approach, the following subtleties arise in terms of reflecting the responsibility of IT and business representatives in SLA:

    • the moment of acceptance of the offer should be clearly stated in terms of the timing and transfer of responsibility to IT and vice versa to the one who applied for the service,
    • the explicit responsibility of IT for the delay, expressed, for example, in issuing VIP status for several subsequent applications when fixing performance delays or a discount on the volume of consumed service,
      • requirements for the quality of service, expressed not only in absolute terms, but also allowing to deviate from the specified time limits in cases stipulated by the agreement but also within the specified limits, for example: "96% of calls must be completed within a period of 2 hours, no more than 3% calls are allowed to be performed in a period of not more than 4 hours, not more than 1% of calls are allowed to be performed in a period of not more than 6 hours, "
      • rules for revoking and changing the offer and rules for changing any of the catalog services - with prior notification of all interested parties and the publication of changes on the Internet portal of the IT service.

    The above approach will allow in principle to refuse to conclude an SLA in most cases , limiting itself to:

    • coordination of the catalog of services and the text of the offer with the management,
    • publishing the above documents on the internal portal of the IT service,
    • notification, of all, including those freshly recruiting about these rules.

    At the same time, the “classic” SLAs are preserved in the form of an agreement, but not in bulk, but for special cases not covered by the offer. For example, round-the-clock access by telephone / Internet of server administrators and a video surveillance system, and these will be precisely the objectively increased requirements for the quality of service since they do not “fit” into any of the standard offer levels.

    This approach was developed in one fairly large bank (top-15) in 2010-2011.
    The text of the offer and an example of the description of the service can be taken here . If anyone has questions - according to the wording used in the agreement - write - I’m ready to explain why it is written in this way.

    Thanks and greetings to colleagues: Oleg Novikov, Alexander Nikulin, Anatoly Malykhin, Irina Sanina, Yuri Salikhov, Rustem Enikeev.

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