February 4, 2016 Batch Automation

Doing Batch Better—Helping Users Set SLAs

With the focus on compliance, most companies have service level agreements (SLAs) for online work, but many don’t have SLAs for batch. We all know only too well that users have expectations as stringent as SLAs. Management wants daily, updated reports available when they arrive at the office. The many customized websites need to be current for other users.

Everyone’s tracking how well you manage batch, but because the batch SLAs aren’t documented, they are what the users think they should be. How can you possibly manage that?

Meeting SLAs with Manual Intervention

While most of us have little interaction with our users, this can be a mistake. When users don’t know the people who make their systems run fast, they blame computers, inanimate objects that frustrate many. When they know you, they can begin to understand how each of you shares in delivering on company goals. While you can’t sit down with everyone, you can begin communicating more directly to them.

Communicate rational batch SLAs to your users, based on historical trends and understanding business needs. Don’t set the bar too high—stuff happens. Explain the trade-offs while showing that you understand their needs. After you have built the relationship, use automation to improve production batch performance.

Eliminate long hours struggling to understand, let alone tune, these systems. It’s a one-time effort to give a tool your goals, so that you can focus on the critical work. Remember: what you don’t automate, you may have to manage at all hours of the night. Who needs calls at 2 a.m.?

The Automation Solution

Compuware ThruPut Manager is a great solution to this conundrum. It lets you set policies describing your service goals and the importance of work. When problems arise, ThruPut Manager understands what work you value most and prioritizes it automatically. Non-production batch can wait; production can’t.

As things improve, the product will re-establish a normal state. But the efficiencies built in not only carefully manage resource utilization to avoid impact to online, but also improve performance.

Establish your goals first, then set ThruPut Manager in motion to beat your SLAs. Be a systems hero to users who know that you are working hard for their benefit. And we’re here to help you become that systems hero.