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Key Performance Indicators. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics can be used to judge the efficiency and effectiveness of the SLM activities and the progress of the SIP

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics can be used to judge the efficiency and effectiveness of the SLM activities and the progress of the SIP. These metrics should be developed from the service, customer and business perspective and should cover both subjective and objective measurements such as the following.


  • Number or percentage of service targets being met
  • Number and severity of service breaches
  • Number of services with up-to-date SLAs
  • Number of services with timely reports and active service reviews.


  • Improvements in customer satisfaction.

More information on KPIs, measurements and improvements can be found in the following section and in the Continuous Service Improvement publication.

Don’t fall into the trap of using percentages as the only metric. It is easy to get caught out when there is a small system with limited measurement points (i.e. a single failure in a population of 100 is only 1%; a single failure in a population of 50 is 2% – if the target is 98.5%, then the SLA is already breached). Always go for number of incidents rather than a percentage on populations of less than 100, and be careful when targets are accepted. This is something organizations have learned the hard way.

The SLM process often generates a good starting point for a SIP – and the service review process may drive this, but all processes and all areas of the service provider organization should be involved in the SIP.

Where an underlying difficulty has been identified that is adversely impacting on service quality, SLM must, in conjunction with Problem Management and Availability Management, instigate a SIP to identify and implement whatever actions are necessary to overcome the difficulties and restore service quality. SIP initiatives may also focus on such issues as user training, service and system testing and documentation. In these cases, the relevant people need to be involved and adequate feedback given to make improvements for the future. At any time, a number of separate initiatives that form part of the SIP may be running in parallel to address difficulties with a number of services.

Some organizations have established an up-front annual budget held by SLM from which SIP initiatives can be funded. This means that action can be undertaken quickly and that SLM is demonstrably effective. This practice should be encouraged and expanded to enable SLM to become increasingly proactive and predictive. The SIP needs to be owned and managed, with all improvement actions being assessed for risk and impact on services, customers and the business, and then prioritized, scheduled and implemented.

If an organization is outsourcing its Service Delivery to a third party, the issue of service improvement should be discussed at the outset and covered (and budgeted for) in the contract, otherwise there is no incentive during the lifetime of the contract for the supplier to improve service targets if they are already meeting contractual obligations and additional expenditure is needed to make the improvements. KPIs

Manage the overall quality of IT service needed, both in the number and level of services provided and managed:

  • Percentage reduction in SLA targets missed
  • Percentage reduction in SLA targets threatened
  • Percentage increase in customer perception and satisfaction of SLA achievements, via service reviews and Customer Satisfaction Survey responses
  • Percentage reduction in SLA breaches caused because of third-party support contracts (underpinning contracts)
  • Percentage reduction in SLA breaches caused because of internal Operational Level Agreements (OLAs).

Deliver service as previously agreed at affordable costs:

  • Total number and percentage increase in fully documented SLAs in place
  • Percentage increase in SLAs agreed against operational services being run
  • Percentage reduction in the costs associated with service provision
  • Percentage reduction in the cost of monitoring and reporting of SLAs
  • Percentage increase in the speed and of developing and agreeing appropriate SLAs
  • Frequency of service review meetings.

Manage business interface:

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