Author: adam

Service Level Agreements define Unacceptable Behaviour

Service Level Agreements, or Service Levels defined in contracts, typically define maximum delays between certain events in the procedural interaction between two enterprises.   They are intended to create clarity and precision in the dealings between these two enterprises, and to balance the business priorities of the enterprises against the cost of implementing the support. A typical example is the time between a “customer” enterprise notifying a “supplier” enterprise of a problem, and the “supplier” enterprise responding to that notification. It is not uncommon to have several interactions defined in sequence, such as: notification of problem, administrative response, diagnosis, solution and long term fix.  The further into the future you look the less common are fixed timeframes and/or the range of timeframe becomes larger.  How can you guarantee a time to fix when you don’t know the problems that will be raised.  However, there are some cases where these are locked down. The SLA should define the longest time that is reasonably expected that the event should happen, before some degradation of performance begins to occur  the “customers” operations.  Such degradation may not (in most cases don’t) occur immediately, but the lead time towards that degradation has been consumed almost completely: there is no more wiggle room. But in practice, once these SLA’s have been established into the operational cycle, a strange thing often happens: one or both of the...

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