Watermelon Service Level Agreement

It and IT Service Management (ITSM) have always been heavily influenced by SLAs, which influence behaviors, resource priorities, and relationship management. I think most SLAs have managed to create a totally negative culture between IT organizations and service providers. The basic idea is that, since a watermelon looks green from the outside, but is actually a red fruit on the inside, IT metrics and contractual agreements can be fulfilled and look «green» on a RAG report when the reality for the company is a failed «red» experiment and outcome. This is most often due to a lack of agreement on the actual results of the companies the service needs or what it feels like to use the service by its users. SLAs are often completely controlled and defined by IT staff without collaboration or agreement, and as such, it`s about measuring individual IT components and not the cumulative effect of the sum of those components when they are used. There`s no point in hitting high-percentage goals if downtime is still causing problems. The focus shifts from the availability of the measurement system to the service – measuring the key points where service is actually needed for customers (e.B peak hours between 2pm and 4pm). For example, a typical SLA model may indicate that there cannot be more than four Priority 2 incidents in an agreed measurement window. Once this goal is achieved, the service provider is now motivated to focus on another client`s Priority 2 goals. Conversely, service providers are generally reluctant to accept mandatory service levels for Priority 3 and 4 incidents. These are generally agreed as «best effects» for restoring services with PPPs (which do not result in financial penalties).

The result is that priority 3 and 4 issues always take to be fixed and become the bugbear of computer users! «Pastèco report» is a common term, often attributed to a service provider`s performance report. Typically, these SLAs represent that the service provider has met agreed service level levels and met all contractual service level objectives. It looks «green» from the outside, just like a watermelon. However, the level of service perceived by the company does not reflect the reported «green» status (it could actually be «red», like the inside of a watermelon); and it is regularly a source of annoyance for the rest of the organization. To arrive at this understanding, it is necessary to decouple the service and see what you are measuring. It`s really a «light bulb moment» when you take a design approach to providing a service and measuring its delivery. In the airline industry, for example, you realize that the real value of an SLA is to allow customers to complete their journey. Who cares if the computer system is «up» by 99.8%? Engagement and listening activities provide a great opportunity to build better relationships and focus on what really needs to be delivered.

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