About Service Level Agreements

You can set, manage, and monitor service expectations for your clients through the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) configuration option. SLAs help improve accountability and quality of service, especially when used in conjunction with any ITIL Service Level Management (SLM) best practices.


 

Terminology and Functionality

In a basic SLA scenario, an issue needs an initial response and complete resolution within a certain set of time frames. Exactly which time frames apply and when is automatically determined by a series of values, including its Severity and the Service Level defined within the Service Level Agreement for that particular Organization, Group, or Asset. Throughout the life cycle of this issue, Compliance with the relevant Service Terms is also closely tracked through a number of reporting functions and—as needed—progressively reinforced with automatic email reminders and alerts.

It’s best to be familiar with several terms going forward:

Term Definition
Severity Rating the issue’s impact on the organization, which ultimately determines the issue. Response and Resolution Times by its link to Service Levels and associated Agreements.
Response Time Allowed time for someone other than the issue submitter to add a public note in reply to the issue.
Resolution Time Allowed time to close the issue.
In Compliance Issue responded to within Response Time and closed within Resolution Time.
Out of Compliance Issue not responded to within Response Time or closed beyond Resolution Time.
Service Level Set of terms defining applicable days and time, Response, and Resolution Times for each Severity.
Agreement Used to apply a Service Level and a default Severity to an issue based on the Organization, Group, or Asset of either the Submitter or Assignee, dependent on the system settings.

 

Setting Up SLAs

The initial setup required for implementing SLAs involves five tasks. These tasks must be completed in this order—but do not have to be completed all at one time. Click on any of the links below for steps on each specific stage of the process:

  1. Activating SLAs
  2. Adding Severities
  3. Adding Service Levels
  4. Adding Service Terms
  5. Adding Service Agreements


 

Activating SLAs

Only users with Sys Admin permissions can activate SLAs within your system. Only users with Sys Admin or Can access and maintain Administration functions permissions can add, edit or delete Severities, Service Levels, Service Terms, and Service Agreements within your system.

Service Level Agreements are optional in Issuetrak. When enabling the feature you will need to decide if you want your SLAs to be applied based on the Issue Submitter or the Issue Assigned To value.

  • Issue Assigned To – Based on the User or Group membership of the Assignee that responds to the issue. For example, two issues with the same Severity could have Service Levels with different terms depending on whether the issue was assigned to a network User or Group or a software User or Group.
  • Issue Submitted By – Based on the Submitter’s values and the more common way to apply SLAs. For example, an issue from Customer A would have a different Service Level than an issue from Customer B.

Steps:

  1. Click the Settings Lightbox (gear icon) in the upper right > click Features beneath System and scroll down to the Service Level Agreements section.
  2. Select Use SLAs and choose the option your SLAs are to be applied based on (In either of these configurations, Asset-related Agreements will always take precedence over all other Agreements).
  3. Click Update.

A confirmation message will appear when this process is complete and the Service Level Agreements option will appear in the Tools section of the Settings Lightbox.


 

Reporting on SLAs

With SLAs applied, additional information is available via the Dashboard and reports.


Dashboard

The dashboard allows you to see graphical depictions of data from various parts of your site, including Service Level Agreements. With just a few clicks, you can include SLA-related information on your dashboard.

Steps:

  1. From the left menu, click on Dashboard.
  2. Towards the upper right area of your dashboard, click on Dashboard Settings.
  3. Next to the "Select a panel" dropdown menu, find and select any of the following, one at a time:
    1. Open Issues by Severity
    2. Issues by Compliance Status
    3. Current Qtr Performance
    4. Monthly Performance
  4. Click on either Add to Left Column or Add to Right Column, depending on your preference.
    1. Optional: Check the box next to Start Expanded?
  5. Click Set as My Dashboard to set it just for you, or click Set as Default to set it for everyone with dashboard access.

Your dashboard will now display SLA-related information.


Summary Report

You can also view SLA information in Summary Reports, which are reports that come with Issuetrak that you can easily use without creating a custom query/report in Report Writer.

Steps:

  1. From the left menu, click on Reports.
  2. From the right quick menu, click on List underneath Summary Reports.
  3. Select one of the following, and then click Run:
    1. Summary of SLA Issues
    2. Summary of SLA Issues by Assignee
    3. Summary of SLA Issues by Next Action
  4. Enter a Date Range and (optionally) a Sort By method.
  5. Click Show Report.

If there is data applicable to the report you selected, it will display on-screen.


Report Writer Report

You can use Report Writer to find and display SLA-related information.

Steps:

  1. From the left menu, click on Reports.
  2. From the right quick menu, click on Queries.
  3. Click New.
  4. In the Data Sets dropdown, select one of the following, depending on the scope of your interest:
    1. Groups / SLAs
    2. Issues / Assignments / SLAs for Groups
    3. Issues / Assignments / SLAs for Organizations
    4. Issues / Service Contracts
    5. Issues / SLAs for Groups
    6. Issues / SLAs for Organizations
    7. Organizations / SLAs
  5. Click and drag the data fields that you want to be included in the query from the "Available Fields" column to the "Selected Fields" column, then click Next.
  6. If desired, create a filter for the data to narrow the scope of information captured in the query. You can find out more about filtering information in a query here. Click Next.
  7. Enter a descriptive name for the query, then choose Save & Run.

You will see the results of your query appear.


 

Deactivating SLAs

Steps:

  1. Click the Settings Lightbox (gear icon) in the upper right > click Features beneath System and scroll down to the Service Level Agreements section.
  2. Deselect Use SLAs and then click the Update button.

A confirmation message will appear when this process is complete.