Thomas Sibley > RT-Extension-SLA-0.07 > RT::Extension::SLA

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Module Version: 0.07   Source   Latest Release: RT-Extension-SLA-1.01

NAME ^

RT::Extension::SLA - Service Level Agreements for RT

DESCRIPTION ^

RT extension to implement automated due dates using service levels.

INSTALL ^

perl Makefile.PL
make
make install
make initdb (for the first time only)
Base configuration

In RT 3.8 and later, you must enable the plugin by adding RT::Extension::SLA to your @Plugins line (or create one) like:

    Set(@Plugins,(qw(RT::Extension::SLA)));

UPGRADING ^

From versions prior to 0.06

You need to run an upgrade step on your RT database so this extension continues to work. Run the following from inside the source of this extension:

    /opt/rt4/sbin/rt-setup-database --action insert --datafile etc/upgrade/0.06/content

It will prompt you for your DBA password and should complete without error.

CONFIGURATION ^

Service level agreements of tickets is controlled by an SLA custom field (CF). This field is created during make initdb step (above) and applied globally. This CF MUST be of select one value type. Values of the CF define the service levels.

It's possible to define different set of levels for different queues. You can create several CFs with the same name and different set of values. But if you move tickets between queues a lot then it's going to be a problem and it's preferred to use ONE SLA custom field.

There is no WebUI in the current version. Almost everything is controlled in the RT's config using option %RT::ServiceAgreements and %RT::ServiceBusinessHours. For example:

    %RT::ServiceAgreements = (
        Default => '4h',
        QueueDefault => {
            'Incident' => '2h',
        },
        Levels => {
            '2h' => { Resolve => { RealMinutes => 60*2 } },
            '4h' => { Resolve => { RealMinutes => 60*4 } },
        },
    );

In this example Incident is the name of the queue, and 2h is the name of the SLA which will be applied to this queue by default.

Each service level can be described using several options: Starts, Resolve, Response, KeepInLoop, OutOfHours and ServiceBusinessHours.

Starts (interval, first business minute)

By default when a ticket is created Starts date is set to first business minute after time of creation. In other words if a ticket is created during business hours then Starts will be equal to Created time, otherwise Starts will be beginning of the next business day.

However, if you provide 24/7 support then you most probably would be interested in Starts to be always equal to Created time.

Starts option can be used to adjust behaviour. Format of the option is the same as format for deadlines which described later in details. RealMinutes, BusinessMinutes options and OutOfHours modifiers can be used here like for any other deadline. For example:

    'standard' => {
        # give people 15 minutes
        Starts   => { BusinessMinutes => 15  },
    },

You can still use old option StartImmediately to set Starts date equal to Created date.

Example:

    '24/7' => {
        StartImmediately => 1,
        Response => { RealMinutes => 30 },
    },

But it's the same as:

    '24/7' => {
        Starts => { RealMinutes => 0 },
        Response => { RealMinutes => 30 },
    },

Resolve and Response (interval, no defaults)

These two options define deadlines for resolve of a ticket and reply to customer(requestors) questions accordingly.

You can define them using real time, business or both. Read more about the latter below.

The Due date field is used to store calculated deadlines.

Resolve

Defines deadline when a ticket should be resolved. This option is quite simple and straightforward when used without "Response".

Example:

    # 8 business hours
    'simple' => { Resolve => 60*8 },
    ...
    # one real week
    'hard' => { Resolve => { RealMinutes => 60*24*7 } },

Response

In many companies providing support service(s) resolve time of a ticket is less important than time of response to requestors from stuff members.

You can use Response option to define such deadlines. When you're using this option Due time "flips" when requestors and non-requestors reply to a ticket. We set Due date when a ticket is created, unset when non-requestor replies... until ticket is closed when ticket's Due date is also unset.

NOTE that behaviour changes when Resolve and Response options are combined, read below.

As response deadlines are calculated using requestors' activity so several rules applies to make things sane:

Using both Resolve and Response in the same level

Resolve and Response can be combined. In such case due date is set according to the earliest of two deadlines and never is dropped to 'not set'.

If a ticket met its Resolve deadline then due date stops "flipping", is freezed and the ticket becomes overdue. Before that moment when non-requestor replies to a ticket, due date is changed to Resolve deadline instead of 'Not Set', as well this happens when a ticket is closed. So all the time due date is defined.

Example:

    'standard delivery' => {
        Response => { RealMinutes => 60*1  }, # one hour
        Resolve  => { RealMinutes => 60*24 }, # 24 real hours
    },

A client orders goods and due date of the order is set to the next one hour, you have this hour to process the order and write a reply. As soon as goods are delivered you resolve tickets and usually meet Resolve deadline, but if you don't resolve or user replies then most probably there are problems with delivery of the goods. And if after a week you keep replying to the client and always meeting one hour response deadline that doesn't mean the ticket is not over due. Due date was frozen 24 hours after creation of the order.

Using business and real time in one option

It's quite rare situation when people need it, but we've decided that business is applied first and then real time when deadline described using both types of time. For example:

    'delivery' => {
        Resolve => { BusinessMinutes => 0, RealMinutes => 60*8 },
    },
    'fast delivery' {
        StartImmediately => 1,
        Resolve => { RealMinutes => 60*8 },
    },

For delivery requests which come into the system during business hours these levels define the same deadlines, otherwise the first level set deadline to 8 real hours starting from the next business day, when tickets with the second level should be resolved in the next 8 hours after creation.

Keep in loop (interval, no defaults)

If response deadline is used then Due date is changed to repsonse deadline or to "Not Set" when staff replies to a ticket. In some cases you want to keep requestors in loop and keed them up to date every few hours. KeepInLoop option can be used to achieve this.

    'incident' => {
        Response   => { RealMinutes => 60*1  }, # one hour
        KeepInLoop => { RealMinutes => 60*2 }, # two hours
        Resolve    => { RealMinutes => 60*24 }, # 24 real hours
    },

In the above example Due is set to one hour after creation, reply of a non-requestor moves Due date two hours forward, requestors' replies move Due date to one hour and resolve deadine is 24 hours.

Modifying Agreements

OutOfHours (struct, no default)

Out of hours modifier. Adds more real or business minutes to resolve and/or reply options if event happens out of business hours, read also </"Configuring business hours"> below.

Example:

    'level x' => {
        OutOfHours => { Resolve => { RealMinutes => +60*24 } },
        Resolve    => { RealMinutes => 60*24 },
    },

If a request comes into the system during night then supporters have two hours, otherwise only one.

    'level x' => {
        OutOfHours => { Response => { BusinessMinutes => +60*2 } },
        Resolve    => { BusinessMinutes => 60 },
    },

Supporters have two additional hours in the morning to deal with bunch of requests that came into the system during the last night.

IgnoreOnStatuses (array, no default)

Allows you to ignore a deadline when ticket has certain status. Example:

    'level x' => {
        KeepInLoop => { BusinessMinutes => 60, IgnoreOnStatuses => ['stalled'] },
    },

In above example KeepInLoop deadline is ignored if ticket is stalled.

NOTE: When a ticket goes from an ignored status to a normal status, the new Due date is calculated from the last action (reply, SLA change, etc) which fits the SLA type (Response, Starts, KeepInLoop, etc). This means if a ticket in the above example flips from stalled to open without a reply, the ticket will probably be overdue. In most cases this shouldn't be a problem since moving out of stalled-like statuses is often the result of RT's auto-open on reply scrip, therefore ensuring there's a new reply to calculate Due from. The overall effect is that ignored statuses don't let the Due date drift arbitrarily, which could wreak havoc on your SLA performance.

Configuring business hours

In the config you can set one or more work schedules. Use the following format:

    %RT::ServiceBusinessHours = (
        'Default' => {
            ... description ...
        },
        'Support' => {
            ... description ...
        },
        'Sales' => {
            ... description ...
        },
    );

Read more about how to describe a schedule in Business::Hours.

Defining different business hours for service levels

Each level supports BusinessHours option to specify your own business hours.

    'level x' => {
        BusinessHours => 'work just in Monday',
        Resolve    => { BusinessMinutes => 60 },
    },

then %RT::ServiceBusinessHours should have the corresponding definition:

    %RT::ServiceBusinessHours = (
        'work just in Monday' => {
            1 => { Name => 'Monday', Start => '9:00', End => '18:00' },
        },
    );

Default Business Hours setting is in $RT::ServiceBusinessHours{'Default'}.

Defining service levels per queue

In the config you can set per queue defaults, using:

    %RT::ServiceAgreements = (
        Default => 'global default level of service',
        QueueDefault => {
            'queue name' => 'default value for this queue',
            ...
        },
        ...
    };

Access control

You can totally hide SLA custom field from users and use per queue defaults, just revoke SeeCustomField and ModifyCustomField.

If you want people to see the current service level ticket is assigned to then grant SeeCustomField right.

You may want to allow customers or managers to escalate thier tickets. Just grant them ModifyCustomField right.

TODO ^

    * [implemented, TODO: tests for options in the config] default SLA for queues

    * [implemented, TODO: tests] add support for multiple b-hours definitions,
      this could be very helpfull when you have 24/7 mixed with 8/5 and/or
      something like 8/5+4/2 for different tickets(by requestor, queue or
      something else). So people would be able to handle tickets in the right
      order using Due dates.

    * [not implemented] WebUI

DESIGN ^

Classes

Actions are subclasses of RT::Action::SLA class that is subclass of RT::Extension::SLA and RT::Action classes.

Conditions are subclasses of RT::Condition::SLA class that is subclass of RT::Extension::SLA and RT::Condition classes.

RT::Extension::SLA is a base class for all classes in the extension, it provides access to config, generates Business::Hours objects, and other things useful for whole extension. As this class is the base for all actions and conditions then we MUST avoid adding methods which overload methods in 'RT::{Condition,Action}' RT's modules.

NOTES ^

If you run make initdb more than once you will create multiple SLA CFs. You can remove these via RT's Configuration->Global menu, (both Custom Fields and Scrips).

AUTHOR ^

Ruslan Zakirov <ruz@bestpractical.com>

COPYRIGHT ^

This extension is Copyright (C) 2007-2009 Best Practical Solutions, LLC.

It is freely redistributable under the terms of version 2 of the GNU GPL.

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