How to Remove the Human Element from Service Performance

Something many of us in IT in general fall into is the
desire to provide immediate response to our clients (internal or
external).  This can lead to
problems.  Especially when multiple
systems are involved.  How do you
properly prioritize when you have upset clients and executives calling or
hanging on your shoulder?  What about
when you have multiple teams within IT that have to prioritize their work
together on items?  Sure SLA’s are a
guidance but regardless they can still compete for time, response, and
ultimately revenue.  So let’s take the
Human Element (most specifically) out of this and reduce it to a “Service
Performance.” This is where we include the details of what is to be the
expected responsiveness of the IT service. 
Performance should be mapped to agreed SLA’s and this helps to further
define our measured metrics for performance. 
More importantly it helps guide everyone’s expectations.

Below is an example of Target Resolution time based on
priority matched to description.  This is
important as it helps our clients understand the targeted time to resolution
that IT in general is striving for.  All priority‚Äôs,
all the time, would equal an IT service degradation.  Think of a fire department on constant
emergency calls without rest.  That said,
here is the target resolution time for each incident or service request as it
depends on its priority.:

 

Priority

Description

Target
Resolution Time

1

Critical

1 hour

2

High

8 hours

3

Medium

24 hours

4

Low

48 hours

5

Planning

Planned

                        Table 1. Target resolution times by Priorities.

How do we prioritize to get to the proper resolution
times?  Where does this urgency come from
if we have removed the Human Element?  For example, is
the database more important that the web application firewall or the SQL AG connection or the SAN site replication?  Is this a disaster recovery event, business
continuity or regular support?  Let’s use the below table to
determine the urgency and impact to get to our priority which will then equal
our response time.

Priority is
determined by the Urgency and the Impact of the Incident or Service Request:

 

 

Impact

 

 

High

Medium

Low

Urgency

High

1

2

3

Medium

2

3

4

Low

3

4

5

Table 2. Determination of Priorities.

Now, is this the everyday life in IT or more of a
generalization?  Is this being applied in
a service provider’s view or a corporate response?  Take this into account when designing your
Service Performance. 

Perhaps I’ll follow this article with a touch on SLAs or
maybe the top KPIs.  Both are highly
subjective to where they are being applied but both are equally important.

Enjoy!