We introduced some basic aspects of SLM in the previous posts. We now turn to a list of issues with traditional Service Level Management.

Quantity instead of Quality

In general, it is easier to define a metric or KPI that is based on a quantitative parameter: the number of incidents, number of escalations, number of errors, minutes downtime, etc. That is the reason that this type of parameters are often found in SLAs. In a lot of cases, quantity is not related to quality.

‘The number of incidents resolved’, for instance, is not a good quality parameter. It may well be that some of the incidents took years to acknowledge. ‘The number of incidents resolved in an agreed time frame’ is better, but the resolution may be only a temporary workaround? Or, in order to attain the required time frame, staffing is doubled and costs skyrocket.

We can go on giving examples like this. Sometimes, quantitative information is good, or can be rephrased to be meaningful. Sometimes quantitative parameters can be used as informational. But be avoid drawing up an SLA on the basis of purely quantitative parameters only.

There is another way to handle quantitative KPIs, but we leave this for a later post.