How can I set reasonable expectations about IT performance?

342535 pts.
Tags:
Internal SLA
IT Business Alignment
IT Business Alignment in 2010
IT Performance
SLA
I'm having trouble figuring out how to establish common guides on uptime, performance, etc. for our various business units. Should different units have different internal agreements? And any suggestions on how to set these baselines that make at least some units happy when everybody asks for things to "just work" "all the time."

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Build the SLA’s based on costs. It will cost the organization $XX amount to meet the “just work” “all the time” goal. When you put it in terms of costs, that’s when people will think realistically. The other side of this though is the challenge with the consumerization of IT. A lot of business people think that since they can manage their home systems “easily” and “on the cheap” that an enterprise can do the same thing. This may be true for some organizations but not for most. You have to communicate what the support levels mean to the organization and what technology, people, and costs it takes to meet those service levels. Maybe start with three levels, Gold, Silver & Bronze and build service level costs, uptime, technology, people requirements for each level. This will show you thought through things and not just ignoring the business.

Let us know how you get on… I’m interested in what you do and how it works for you.

In the IT trenches? So am I – read my <a href=”http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/it-trenches”>IT-Trenches blog</a>

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  • Kevin Beaver
    Very good point Labnuke99 - esp. the "I'll fix it myself" part. I just saw an article in a family magazine that talked about the desire for instant gratification we have in our society today and how kids surrounded by technology expect things here and now *immediately* in the form of instant downloads, stored TV shows on DVRs, etc. We're heading down a slippery slope with this and I'm not sure there's a good way to "fix" it. I think it's only going to make the problem you describe even worse. So, definitely show management the costs of different service levels, and once reality hits, their perception will hopefully trickle down and get everyone off your back. Learning to properly set expectations is one of the most important things you'll ever do in IT and for your career so it sounds like you're taking the right approach. Here are a few articles I've written that may help. Best of luck!
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