Configure Service Level Management

Applies To: System Center 2016 - Service Manager

This article provides an overview of how to configure service level management in Service Manager. This section also contains procedures that cover service level management configuration scenarios.

Service level management is the process that you use to measure incident and service request timeliness. In Service Manager, you create a service level item that consist of queues that correspond to each service level, plus time metrics to measure and warn for. Separately, you can also send notifications to users that occur before and after service level breach. In the Service Manager console, you manage this process in the Administration workspace using the following nodes:

  • Calendar
  • Metric
  • Service Level Objectives

Calendar

The Calendar node is used to define work days, work hours, and holidays as a calendar item in the Service Manager console. Each calendar item is a distinct work schedule that represents time available for analysts to resolve incidents and fulfill service requests. Calendar items correspond to at least one service level objective where it is measured by a time metric, such as resolution time.

Metric

The Metric node is used to define time metrics against a calendar item, corresponding to a service level objective. A time metric is the measurement between start and end dates. There are two predefined metrics in Service Manager:

  • Resolution Time

  • Completion Time

The Resolution Time metric is used to measure the maximum length of time that incidents should take before they are resolved. By default, the two points in time that define Resolution Time are the start date as the date and time that each incident is created and the end date as the date and time that each incident is resolved.

The Completion Time metric is used to measure the maximum length of time that service requests should take before they are completed. By default, the two points in time that define Completion Time are the start date as the date and time that each service request is created and the end date as the date and time that each service request is completed.

Service level objectives

The Service Level Objectives node is used to create relationships between a queue and a service level. It is also used to define the relationship between a calendar item and a time metric. Separately, you can also send notifications to users that occur before and after service level breach.

Create or edit a calendar item

You create a calendar item to define work days, work hours, and holidays in Service Manager. After you create a calendar item, you will use it as part of a service level objective, where it is measured against a time metric.

To create a calendar item

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Service Level Management, and then click Calendar.
  3. In the Tasks pane, under Calendar, click Create Calendar.
  4. In the Create/Edit Calendar dialog box, in the Title box, type a title for the calendar. For example, type Normal Work Calendar.
  5. In the Time zone list, select the time zone of your location.
  6. Under Working days and hours, select the work days of your organization and for each selected day, type the start and end time for each day.
  7. Under Holidays, click Add to define any holidays that your organization does not normally work. In the Add Holiday dialog box, type the name and select the date of the holiday and then click OK to close the dialog box.
  8. Click OK to close the Create/Edit Calendar dialog box.

Edit a calendar item

You edit a calendar item in Service Manager to update work days, work hours, and holidays. After you edit a calendar item, you will use it as part of a service level objective, where it is measured against a time metric. If the calendar is already associated with a service level objective, it appears in the Related SLA(s) area.

Note

When you update an existing calendar item, the update is effective for incidents and service requests created afterward; however, the updates do not affect existing incidents.

To edit a calendar item

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Service Level Management, and then click Calendar.
  3. In the Calendar list, select an existing calendar, and then in the Tasks pane, under CalendarName, click Properties.
  4. In the Create/Edit Calendar dialog box, modify any of the following items, as needed:
    • Title
    • Time zone
    • Working days and hours
    • Holidays
  5. Click OK to close the Create/Edit Calendar dialog box.

Create or edit SLA metrics

You can create a service level management metric, which is analogous to service level agreements (SLAs), as a time metric to measure the difference between start and end times for incidents and service requests. After you define a metric, you associate it with a service level objective. If the metric is already associated with a service level objective, it appears in the Related SLA(s) area.

To create a metric for incidents

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Service Level Management, and then click Metric.
  3. In the Create/Edit SLA Metric dialog box, in the Title box, type a title for the metric. For example, type Incident Metric.
  4. In the Description box, type a description of the metric. For example, type Time that incidents are resolved.
  5. Under Class, click Browse to open the Select a Class dialog box, select Incident, and then click OK to close the dialog box.
  6. Click the list next to Start date and then select the item that you want to use to define the start date. For example, select First assigned date.
  7. Click the list next to End date, and then select the item that you want to use to define the end date. For example, select Resolved date.
  8. Click OK to close the Create/Edit SLA Metric dialog box.

To create a metric for service requests

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Service Level Management, and then click Metric.
  3. In the Create/Edit SLA Metric dialog box, in the Title box, type a title for the metric. For example, type Service Request Metric.
  4. In the Description box, type a description of the metric. For example, type Time that service requests are completed.
  5. Under Class, click Browse to open the Select a Class dialog box, select Service Request, and then click OK to close the dialog box.
  6. Click the list next to Start date, and then select the item that you want to use to define the start date. For example, select First assigned date.
  7. Click the list next to End date, and then select the item that you want to use to define the end date. For example, select Completed date.
  8. Click OK to close the Create/Edit SLA Metric dialog box.

Edit SLA metrics

In Service Manager, you edit a service level agreement (SLA) metric to update the title, start date, and end date. After you edit a metric, you associate it with a service level objective. If the metric is already associated with a service level objective, it appears in the Related SLA(s) area.

Note

You should avoid making changes to an SLA metric that is in use because changing it might cause performance problems. If possible, edit in-use SLA metrics during a period of minimal system use, such during as a maintenance period.

To edit an SLA metric

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Service Level Management, and then click Metric.
  3. In the Metric list, select an existing metric, and then in the Tasks pane, under MetricName, click Properties.
  4. In the Create/Edit Metric dialog box, modify any of the following items, as needed:
    • Title
    • Description
    • Start date
    • End date
  5. Click OK to close the Create/Edit Metric dialog box.

Modify an SLA metric view

You can use the following procedures to customize an SLA view.

Views let you group SLA metrics that share certain criteria. However, when you personalize changes to a view, those changes are not saved. For example, you can customize the Metrics view, but if you change column widths, column sorting, grouping, or if you remove columns, the next time you return to the view it displays information in the same manner as it did before you personalized it.

To personalize an SLA metric view

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Service Level Management, and then select Metric.
  3. Right-click any view column heading to resize columns, to remove items from the results, or to change column sorting and grouping. Repeat this step until you are satisfied with the results.
  4. You can also type in the Filter box to show results that are limited items that match what you typed.

Create or edit a service level objective

You create a service level objective to create relationships between a queue and a service level, a calendar item and a time metric, and actions that occur before or after service level breaches. Afterward, when you view incidents or service requests and they approach their warning time, you will see a notification bar stating that the item is about to breach. You can also create periodic notifications if you want analysts to receive email for incidents or service requests that might breach their service level objective. For more information about sending notifications, see How to Send SLA Notification Information to the Assigned-To User.

In order to create a service level objective, it is easier if you have already created or defined a calendar item and an SLA metric. Additionally, the service level objective that you create is linked to a queue. The queue that you associate to a service level objective must target the same type of work item, based on its class; otherwise, the queue will not be available when you create the service level objective.

To create a service level objective

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Service Level Management, and then click Service Level Objective.
  3. In the Tasks pane, under Service Level Objectives, click Create Service Level Objective.
  4. In the Create Service Level Objective Wizard, on the Before You Begin page, click Next.
  5. On the General page, in the Title box, type a name for the new service level objective.
  6. In the Description box, type a description of the service level objective.
  7. Next to Class, click Browse to Open the Select a Class dialog box and then select a class pertinent to the type of service level objective you are creating. Normally, you should choose either Incident or Service Request.
  8. Ensure that Enabled is selected, and then click Next.
  9. On the Service Level Criteria page, select a calendar and a time metric, or you can create new ones.
  10. Under Target, specify the amount of time in hours or minutes that the work item should be completed by.
  11. Under Warning threshold, specify the amount of time in hours or minutes before the service level is beached, which causes a warning notification in the work item notification bar, and then click Next.
  12. On the Summary page confirm the choices you made, and then click Create.
  13. On the Completion page, click Close.

Edit a service level objective

You can edit a service level objective to modify relationships between a queue and a service level, a calendar item and a time metric, and actions that occur before or after service level breaches. Afterward, when you view incidents or service requests and they approach their warning time, you will see a notification bar stating that the item is about to breach. You can also create periodic notifications if you want analysts to receive email for incidents or service requests that might breach their service level objective.

The service level objective that you edit is linked to a queue. If you want to modify the association of queue to a service level objective, the service level objective must target the same type of work item as the queue, based on its class; otherwise, the queue will not be available when you modify the service level objective.

To modify a service level objective

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Service Level Management, and then click Service Level Objective.
  3. In the Service Level Objectives list, select an existing service level objective, and then in the Tasks pane, under ServiceLevelObjectiveName, click Properties.
  4. In the Edit SLO dialog box, modify any of the following items, as needed.
    • Title
    • Queues
    • Service Level Criteria
  5. Click OK to close the Edit SLO dialog box.

View SLA information in an incident form

As you are working with incidents, it is easy to tell when an incident's service level is about to or has been breached by viewing incidents in the Assigned To Me view and then looking for information in the Service Level Target column.

If you are already in an incident form and an incident is about to breach, a notification bar is displayed in the form while on the General tab stating that One or more Service Level Objectives are about to breach. You can view additional information about the service level status on the corresponding tab and see that the status shown is a warning.

When an incident has already been breached, no notification bar is displayed in the form while you are on the General tab. However, you will see breached status while you are on the Service Level tab if that incident's service level objective has breached.

To view warning SLA information in an incident form

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Work Items.
  2. In the Work Items pane, expand Incident Management, and then click Incidents with Service Level Warning.
  3. In the Incidents with Service Level Warning list, select an incident, and then in the Tasks pane, under IncidentID-IncidentName, click Edit.
  4. In the Incident IncidentID-IncidentName - Status form, observe the One or more Service Level Objectives are about to breach warning.
  5. Click the Service Level tab, and observe the status of the incident as Warning. You can also see other information about the incident, most notably Time Before SLA Breached.
  6. Click OK to close the incident.

To view breached SLA information in an incident form

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Work Items.
  2. In the Work Items pane, expand Incident Management, and then click Incidents with Service Level Breached.
  3. In the Incidents with Service Level Breached list, select an incident, and then in the Tasks pane, under IncidentID-IncidentName, click Edit.
  4. Click the Service Level tab, and observe the status of the incident as Breached.
  5. Click OK to close the incident.

Review incidents with SLA information

You can use the following procedure to view incidents that have a service level objective associated with them.

To review incidents with SLA information

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Work Items.
  2. In the Work Items pane, expand Incident Management, and then click Incidents with Service Level Warning or Incidents with Service Level Breached.
  3. In the list of incidents, notice the time that is displayed for Service Level Target.

Send SLA notification information to the assigned-to user

You can send notifications to analysts who are responsible for incidents when each incident is within the warning period of its service level objective. Because periodic notifications require a large amount of system resources, the following example notifies the analyst once when the service level objective goes to a warning state.

To send an SLA notification to the assigned-to user

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Notifications, and then click Subscriptions.
  3. In the Tasks pane, click Create Subscription to open the Create E-Mail Notification Subscription Wizard.
  4. On the Before You Begin page, read the instructions, and then click Next.
  5. On the General page, complete these steps:
    1. In the Notification subscription name box, type a name for the subscription for the service level objective.
    2. In the Description box, type a description of the subscription for the service level objective.
    3. In the When to notify list, select When an object of the selected class is updated.
    4. Next to Targeted class click Browse and then in then in the Frequently used basic classes list, select All basic classes. In the Select a Class dialog box, click Service Level Instance Time Information, and then click OK to close the dialog box.
    5. Keep the default management pack information, and then click Next.
  6. On the Group/Queue Selection page, click Next.
  7. On the Additional Criteria page, complete these steps:
    1. In the Changed From tab, set [Service Level Instance Time Information] Status Does Not Equal Warning.
    2. On the Changed To tab, set [Service Level Instance Time Information] Status Equals Warning, and then click Next.
  8. On the Template page, select an email template or create a new one targeted at the Service Level Instance Time Information class. For more information about creating email notification templates, see How to Create Notification Templates. Click Next.
  9. On the Recipient page, click Add and select the groups and users to send the notification to, and then click Next.
  10. On the Related Recipient page, click Add, select [WorkItem]WorkItem has Service Level Instance Information in the left box, and then select Primary Owner and Assigned To User in the right box, and then click Next.
  11. On the Summary page, review the information, and then click Create.
  12. On the Completion page, click OK to close the wizard.

Reactivate incidents with SLA information

You can reactivate resolved incidents that have an associated service level objective. However, keep in mind that the original date and time that the incident was opened is preserved. Consequently, the time that elapsed while the incident was resolved continues to apply against the service level objective--possibly resulting in the service level objective being breached.

To reactivate an incident with SLA information

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Work Items.
  2. In the Work Items pane, expand Incident Management, and then click All .
  3. In the All Incidents list, locate a resolved incident that you want to reactivate, and select it.
  4. In the Tasks list, under <IncidentID - IncidentTitle>, click Change Incident Status, and then select Activate.
  5. In the Activate box, type a comment describing why you are activating the incident, and then click OK.