Monday, September 26, 2016

CRM SLA Failure and Warning times, not what you would expect!

When you configure an SLA item in CRM, you have the option to specify the “Failure” and “Warning” times as a duration.

The format of these fields Is the same as any other CRM duration field, but what does it really mean? For example, if you set it to 10 days, is it 10 calendar days? Is it 10 business days? You might be surprised it is neither!

First let’s backtrack a little bit and look at the SLA definition. At the SLA level you can define “Business Hours” which captures the business days of the week, business hours of the day as well as any holidays during which an SLA should not apply. Let’s see what happens to your 10 day SLA depending on your business hour configuration in different scenarios. For simplicity I will assume you do not have “pause” when the record is on-hold.

1.       No Business Hours
If you leave this “Business Hours” field blank, then the system will assume 24x7 and therefore, the “Failure” and “Warning” times you set are simply calendar days, it will be simply a duration which is quite straight-forward. Therefore, when you create the record, you will have exactly 10 days (240 hours) before the SLA fails.

2.       Business Hours Configured (Work Days only)
In this case you configure your Business Hours only for the work days (e.g. Mon-Fri) but you leave the work hours as 24-hour (i.e. your business day has 24 hours):

In this case, what happens to your 10-day SLA is that it becomes a 10 business day SLA. Therefore, when you create a case, you will have 14 calendar days before the SLA fails because the weekend days will not be counted.

3.       Business Hours Configured (Including Work Hours)
Now this is where things get really messy unexpectedly. Imagine you configure your business hours to be Mon-Fri from 09:00 to 17:00 so that you have 8 working hours per business day. What happens to the 10-day SLA failure?

I create a case and to my surprise, the system gives me almost 42 calendar days to resolve the case before failing SLA:

This seems really random. What happens here is that the “Failure” time of 10 days is actually a duration (not the actual count of calendar or business days). In other words, the SLA will fail after 240 “business hours”. Because I only have 8 business hours per day then this means 30 business days and because of the weekends it ends up giving me almost 42 days. This is definitely not what I would expected when I configured by failure time to 10 days. Therefore, I just decided to leave my work hours as 12am-12am (24 hours) and then I would fall under #2 above in which I get 10 business days for resolving the case as I expected.

Adding holidays to your calendar works similar to the work days, it will just exclude the entire day from the count. Do not expect the timer to “pause” when you are outside of working hours because the timer has actually been increased to account for the time that you will have outside of business hours, so the timer countdown is always real time (duration) and can only pause when you configure pause for “on-hold” status.

I hope you find this useful, I think unless you have really fast SLAs (defined in hours or minutes) it almost makes no sense to think about configuring working hours. My conclusion is that if you SLAs which are defined in number of days you most likely should leave the work hours to 24 hours in order for the timer to make sense. Alternatively if you keep working hours you would need to define your SLA items as a function of business hours, so for my example, if the business hours are from 9am to 5pm then that means that for a 10 business day SLA I would need to define my failure time as 10*(number of business hours per day) = 80 hours. The small caveat here is that if you change your business hours then you need to update all your SLA items as the above formula could have changed. In either case you should still configure your workdays to exclude weekends if desired though.


  1. " I think unless you have really fast SLAs (defined in hours or minutes) it almost makes no sense to think about configuring working hours."
    i think differently. when you USE business hours, then the definition of the failure and success should also be in hours. so if your org works 9-17 (8 business hours) and you want 10 working days, then configure the SLA to 8hrs*10 days =80 hrs.
    this definition will calculate correctly SLA bases on the exact time the SLA triggered. for example if someone opens a case on 16:58, it should calculate 10 working days starting 8:00 am the next day and not a whole day by your definition!

    1. you'r right you would have to define your SLA as function of the number of business hours per day. So if you change your business hours (e.g. 9 hours instead of 10) then you'd need to adjust all your SLA items.

    2. True. but it is a rare scenario where a business changes its working hours. so it's a one time setup or change
      and it's a small effort since the change happens on the SLA configuration page and is codeless.
      and cheers for updating the article:)