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Service Request SLA Clock. To Pause or not to Pause?

I have run into an interesting scenario and discussion with a Service Owner that insists that the SLA clock should Run when Waiting for Approval, more specifically waiting for the requester’s manager’s approval.

So in other words, a SR is submitted, waiting for approval, more specifically for the customer’s manager, and the clock is running for the service request, counting towards completion. If it takes the manager 5 days to approve, the time waiting is considered part of the Resolution Time / Compliance metric.

This is a first for me. The Service Desk Industry standard (norm) that I’ve always encountered is to pause the Service Request clock when Waiting for Approval, similar to how Waiting for Customer behaves, as typically any events outside of the Service Request owning team are paused, when the “wait” is for an external event/action, Versus an internal team action/approval/event with a “Waiting for Internal Team” status or similar status.

The argument made was that the Service Level Agreement Resolution Time and Contract with the End User, should be the total time from Submission to Completion, and using OLAs at the Task Level to measure the Team’s Resolution Time and Compliance.

What are your thoughts/experiences?

Here is what an Ivanti Business Partner had to say in the Ivanti Forums:

If it’s the customer’s manager i,e, someone external to the business then controlling the approval becomes harder and 2 weeks is a really long window for approval on a new mailbox. I would flag that for discussion with my customer to see if there are alternative ways to reduce the approval time. Also if it’s an external approval I would pause the clock as you can only measure and be targeted on the elements you control

Here is one of 6 SLA Best Practices from the BMC Blogs:

It’s just as important to define where an SLA does not apply as where it does apply. Your SLA should define any usual and unusual situations that will hinder or prevent IT service processing.

Some SLA exceptions might include:

  • New users will be added to the system within one day of receipt of a completed new user form, provided management has approved adding the user. It will not be considered a service level miss if a new user request has been received but management is slow in approving the new user.

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