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5 steps to configure an SLA

Have you ever thought about ways to make your customers happier? We have a perfect answer for this. Just try using an SLA solution and discover how to configure it in Jira.

What is an SLA? 

SLA or Service Level Agreement is one of the main ways to understand people's expectations and find out how to keep up with them. Sounds interesting? Let’s try it!

We’ve prepared a guide to help you set your first SLA. Just follow the steps below as we guide you through the process!                             

5 steps to configure an SLA

image-20220621-061420.pngStep #1  Product Value

First of all, think about your values. What is your product about? What are its advantages: delivery on time, clear expectations, transparency? Think about it and then discuss this with your team at the board.

The first step is completed! Let’s move on to the next one.

Step #2 – Customer Expectations 

Yes, exactly, understanding your customers' expectations is a must. Just read some feedback from your clients. Pay attention to some very important moments. When did they say you did a great job? When was it under their expectations? Write down some key points from the feedback and highlight the time-related qualities.

                        6.png

Step #3 – Competitor analysis

What’s next? The competitors. You should always know who your competitors are. Do they have some public feedback related to delivery time (e.g., fast delivery, responsible support)? Do they declare any SLAs or public time-related expectations for their service? Analyze all this information with your team and decide what you need to add to your services and how to be the best in your market. 

Step #4 – Specification

The next stage is called “be more specific”. What to do here?

  1. Think about when your customer started waiting for your response or help (they report a critical defect and expect some reaction from your team representative).
  2. Add this request to Start in terms of Jira workflow (JSM ticket is received and has a Waiting for support status).
  3. When a customer receives some value after the request, mark it as a Stop stage in Jira (e.g., Issue moved to Done or Waiting for customer status).

If you have more than one product, we recommend also applying those stages to every one of them. Perhaps some customer requests can be grouped by priority, urgency, customer size, or any other differentiation? Here’s some food for thought for you.

                        3.png

Step #5 – Data acquiry

If the previous step has been completed, it’s time to think about getting data. What does this mean? You can use a special tool to measure your SLA retrospectively. For example, you can try Jira Service Management or other apps from Atlassian Marketplace like SLA Time and Report for Jira add-on. The last one can track SLAs for all Jira projects (JSM, Jira Software, Jira Core) and generate data based on the issues you've already closed.

Practice time: Set up your Jira SLA 

And now we’d like to share some practical tips on how to work with SLAs to get the necessary data:

  1. Set the Configuration by defining Start and Stop events (use items from the Be more specific stage).
  2. Create the Team calendar, and make sure customers are aware of it. Use the calendar in SLA configuration.
  3. Go to the Report, and filter the most important list of issues to analyze how your team copes with them in terms of delivery time. Try to figure out if there is any connection between issues and delivery time. If so, try to group them.
  4. Make a report. For example: 

Product /Service name

Starship

Falcon Heavy

Delivery time based on historical data (Use Median to calculate)

6 hours

12 hours

Did customers add any positive feedback after Issues had been delivered below the Median time?

yes

no

Can my team demonstrate a similar delivery time for all issues without drastic changes to the team composition? What should I change?

yes

no

What is the connection between delivery time and customers' happiness you might see based on the data?

direct

direct

Anything else to be done?

                          4.png

And of course, don't forget about your team. Discuss everything with your team, tell them about the necessity of using SLAs, and explain all the advantages of such an approach. Here you can add an argument that SLAs can make your customers happier, which will impact your company's brand and reputation. Then just set up multiple milestones where you will monitor your performance and report back to your team. 

After that, inform customers about your SLA as soon as you become confident it's achievable under the current conditions. Include this in the contract to show your professionalism. Turn delivery time to your company's advantage. Add articles to the blog, use social media, etc. Tell people about your company and why it’s really cool. Show your advantages!

That's it! We hope this article will help you improve your team efficiency and get incredible results!

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