The Provance Blog

The Provance Blog will provide you with expert advice, insights and opinions in regard to IT Service Management, Microsoft, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft System Center.  

A Deeper Dive Into SLA Management: The Why and How for Status Changes

 

For a Managed Service Provider (MSP), a Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contract between them and their customer, ensuring both have an agreed upon understanding about scope, responsibility, response and resolution times, as well as costs associated for breaches. Whether you're a MSP or an internal service provider, It is extremely important to be as accurate as possible on reporting day-to-day service management and fulfillment.

But, we’re only human.

And humans make mistakes like forgetting to change the status of an SLA when, for example, you send someone an email to try to resolve an issue and they don’t get back to you for 24 hours. Which is why we engineered the SLA Status Change feature, giving users and managers the option to backdate a status change based on an activity that has occurred in the past. I put “on an activity’ in italics because I wanted to emphasize that the ability to change the status in the past must be tied to a concrete activity (email, phone call, comment in portal) that was already done in the system. This feature provides you with more accuracy along with evidence of the reason for the status change (I should note here also that for maximum customization capabilities we do have the option of changing the status without the evidence (Do not use an Activity) but this can be disabled). Thus, Provance ITSM gives a lot of flexibility for users and managers to manage their SLAs and make sure their KPIs are correct.

How to Make a Status Change to an SLA

Let’s first start by opening an incident. Click on Hold on the top-level navigation and Provance ITSM will bring up a pop-up window (see screenshot below). 

I first have to give the reason as to why I’m putting the resolution of the incident on hold. My options are Waiting for Approval, Waiting for Customer, Waiting for Hardware, and Waiting for Vendor, which for this scenario, I’m going to choose Waiting for Customer. Then I need to select the type of activity I’d like to use as a time stamp for the SLA status change (I have not disabled Do Not Use an Activity option). In this scenario, I’ve decided to select phone call. Then, Provance ITSM will bring up all the phone call activity types that are relevant (as seen in this screenshot below). 

So, by backdating the status change to the phone call, that had taken place 4 minutes ago, as opposed to just changing the status when I remembered it, I’m giving myself those 4 minutes back that I would have lost.

If I check the SLA Durations view (see screenshot below) you can see that my phone call started running at 10:23 a.m. and lasted until 10:25 a.m., and then the SLA goes on hold for 10:25 even though I didn’t actually change the status until 10:30 a.m. Also notice on the right that the phone call, the reason for my backdated status change, is tied to the record.

One more item I’d like to mention about this is that once you resolve and close the issue, you can easily see all the SLA duration information for that particular incident, by clicking on the specific incident and then scrolling down to the section called SLAs/OLAs/UPs (see screenshot below). 

Check out our other blog posts in this series, How to Configure SLAs and Monitoring Service Health.



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