Managing Service Level Agreements (SLA)

Guide Overview

The following document is designed to give administrators an understanding of using Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in Incident IQ. This includes the following topics:

  • Creating, managing, and deleting SLAs
  • Assigning SLAs to tickets automatically through Rules Engine or manually on tickets
  • Accessing SLA data in Analytics
  • Setting up break and holiday exclusions on SLAs

Guide Index

You can use the following links below to quickly navigate to a specific section in this document. To quickly return to this index simply use the Return to Index link located at the end of any section.

    1. Introduction to SLAs
    2. Creating an SLA
    3. Adding Custom Metrics to SLAs
    4. Applying Additional Filters to SLAs
    5. Deleting an SLA
    6. Using SLAs in the Rules Engine
    7. Manually Managing SLAs on Tickets
    8. Viewing SLA Analytics
    9. SLA Filters
    10. Setting up Break and Holiday Exclusions

Introduction to Service Level Agreements

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are an analytics tool that you can utilize to acquire analytical data for time spent on tickets. SLAs utilize working hours (7:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday by default) to calculate the following information on tickets:

  • Response Time:  The time from when the ticket was submitted to when it started (put into In Progress status).
  • Resolution Time:  The time from when the ticket was submitted to when the ticket is resolved. By default, this includes all ticket statuses.
  • Custom Metric: A non-standard metric that allows you to track how long a ticket may have been sitting in a specific status (such as On Hold, Waiting on Requestor, etc.)

SLAs are best utilized in conjunction with rules. You can set up rules to apply a single SLA to track general metrics on tickets district-wide, or multiple rules to apply different SLAs depending on the ticket type.

Additionally, the analytics explorer allows you to quickly determine the average response and resolution times for all tickets, select types of tickets, or even how often your agents meet their SLA goals.

Creating an SLA

To create a new SLA, begin by clicking on the +New SLA at the top right of the Service Level Agreements page.

From here, you will be asked to name the new SLA. Additionally, you will also need to activate the SLA with the toggle option before it can be applied to tickets.

By default, the Response and Resolution times for the new SLA is set to one day and three days respectively. You can remove either one of these settings by clicking on Remove, or you can change the default time by clicking on the filter boxes under the Conditions column.

This will open a new window where you can adjust the numeric value as well as set whether this value should be measured in minutes, hours, or days.

Adding Custom Metrics to SLAs

You can set up additional methods to track more than the response and resolution times on tickets. For instance, maybe you would like to track the amount of time that an SLA was in the Waiting on Vendor status. In this example, you would begin by clicking on Custom Metric in the top right corner of the SLA Details page of any SLA.

This will open the custom metric window. Next, name your new metric and provide a target time. Click on the Add Filter option on the right of the Timer is running when section.

For this type of set up, you will want to select the Status filter type. From here select the status, or statuses, that you would like to include or exclude. For the example below the Waiting on Vendor status is selected.

You will now see your new custom metric added underneath the response and resolution times. Be sure to click Save before leaving this page to ensure your new SLA settings persist.

Applying Additional Filters to SLAs

You can filter out unwanted statuses from resolution time calculations by adding additional filters to the Resolution Time metric.

Clicking on Resolution time will open the editing window for this metric. From here, click on the Add Filter option on the right of the Timer is running when section.

For this type of set up, you will want to select the Status filter type. From here you can select the status, or statuses, that you would like to include or exclude. The example below has the Waiting on Requestor status selected and is using the Exclude Selected option to remove this status from SLA calculations.

Once you have selected your status filters you should see them displayed in the Conditions column of the Resolution Time metric. Be sure to click Save before leaving this page.

Deleting an SLA

To delete an existing SLA begin by clicking on the SLA in question on the Service Level Agreements page.

From here, you can click on the Delete button at the bottom of the page. Please note that deleting an SLA cannot be undone.

Using SLAs in the Rules Engine

You can add SLAs to tickets automatically through the use of rules in Incident IQ. This allows you to automate the SLA assignment process at the time of ticket creation. This ensures that from the time tickets are created, their response and resolution times are being tracked immediately.

The following section below covers a number of common SLA applications in Rules Engine. Please note that these are basic examples and that you may add additional conditions or actions to further enhance their functionality.

Applying a single SLA to All Newly Created Tickets

  • Trigger Type: Created
  • When: Leave this section blank to apply to all tickets. 
  • Action: ‘Assign Service Level Agreement’ [Desired SLA]
  • Finally: Continue to next rule
  • Additional Information: With this type of rule you will want to make it a stand-alone rule and place it near the top of the list. Generally, the recommended positioning of this rule should be in slot #2, just underneath the default iiQ Support rule. Additionally, since the rule is set to Continue to next rule, this rule will apply the SLA to all tickets while allowing the ticket to continue down the rule list to get assigned to the appropriate agent and/or team.

Applying a Single SLA to Select Newly Created Tickets

  • Trigger Type:  Created
  • When:  Variable (The below example uses a specific location as the when criteria.) 
  • Perform:   ‘Assign Service Level Agreement’ [Desired SLA]  (Optionally you can also add an agent or team assignment to this rule as well.)
  • Finally:  Do not process any more rules
  • Additional Information:  If you are tracking multiple different SLAs on tickets then having a single generic SLA as shown in the previous example will not work. As such, you will want to apply an SLA to each specific ticket type. As such, you will generally also have agent and/or team assignments setup in the same rule as shown in the example below.

Applying an SLA to an Existing Ticket Based on Information Field Updates

  • Trigger Type:  Updated
  • When:  [Variable Criteria] and [when field is updated (field type that matches your first criteria)]
  • Perform:  ‘Assign Service Level Agreement’ [Desired SLA]
  • Finally:  Do not process any more rules
  • Rule Positioning:  This type of rule setup applies an SLA when the ticket information is updated. In the example below, the rule will only fire when the location is updated to Cold Harbor Middle School. Because we also selection the filter “When field is updated” (location), this ensures that this rule will only fire once when a specific field is updated on the ticket.

Manually Managing SLAs on Tickets

Incident IQ administrators and agents with the appropriate permissions can manually update SLAs on any open ticket. This can be done in one of two ways. For individual tickets, you can click on the SLA field to add or change the currently assigned SLA.

You can also assign and unassign SLAs to multiple tickets at once using the bulk ticket options. When in any ticket view, you can check one or more tickets to bring up the Bulk Ticket options. From here, you can click on Other > Assign SLA or Remove SLA to assign or remove an SLA to all selected tickets respectively.

Viewing SLA Analytics

You can visually access SLA data by clicking on Analytics Explorer from the navigation bar and selecting one of the options listed.

Each section of the Analytics Explorer comes with an applicable section for SLA metrics. This includes the ability to view over SLA performance on tickets district-wide, or even just the performance of individual locations or agents. To find this data, look for the elements labeled SLA Response Time and SLA Resolution Time.

SLA Filters

There are three SLA filters that you can apply on a ticket view. Click on Filter at the top right corner. Then navigate to SLA Filters folder. 

  1. SLA Filter – you can filter by which SLA agreement is applied to tickets. 
  2. SLA Resolution Time – you can filter tickets by the resolution time. 
  3. SLA Response Time – you can filter ticket by the response time. 

When filtering by SLA Resolution Time or SLA Response Time you are provided with three more options to narrow down the filter.

First is the Filter by SLA Agreement breached option. You can select whether you want to see tickets that has been breached or has not been breached by the SLA’s guide lines. 

Second is the Filter by SLA agreement status option. You can select whether you want to see tickets that the SLA agreement metric is running or SLA agreement metric is stopped. Ticket that are still open and the metric is running or tickets that have been resolved and the metric has stopped. 

Third is the Filter by Business Days Over option. When you apply the filter option Filer by SLA Agreement Breached, you can set a range of days when the SLA has or has not been breached. Leaving one field blank for an open range. 

Setting up Break and Holiday Exclusions

You can set up holiday exclusions for SLA calculations by adding them to the Incident IQ Calendar. When creating this type of event, you will need to ensure that you select the Break or Holiday event types from the drop-down menu.

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