A play in 3 acts. Some dramatic licence is used. But not much.
A meeting room. A solicitor and an IT manager sit across the table from each other.
Legal Bizzle (for it is he): Our client would like us to propose a service level for incident resolution. I see that you’ve already put one in the document that you’ve sent them – shall we use that?
IT Manager: We don’t have the resources to meet that service level. And we never meet those timescales anyway.
Legal Bizzle: Oh. Why did you put it in the document?
IT Manager: It’s an internal document. We didn’t know it was going to be sent to the client.
Legal Bizzle: But you sent it… oh, never mind. If you can’t meet those timescales, why don’t we say that you’ll set a timescale for each incident and then measure how you perform against that?
IT Manager: That’s a great idea!
Legal Bizzle sits at his desk. The phone rings.
Legal Bizzle: Good afternoon, you’re through to Legal Bizzle. How may I save your ass today?
IT Manager: Ah, yes. We’re not going to change the document.
Legal Bizzle: Oh. Why not?
IT Manager: Because it’s a standard document. It’s not appropriate for you to ask me to change it.
Legal Bizzle: But it’s, um, wrong. You said so.
IT Manager: Yes, but it doesn’t matter because the clients never see it. It should never have been sent to them!
Legal Bizzle: But… but… oh, never mind. Thing is, the client is just going to get upset if you set a service level that you can’t deliver. Why don’t you reconsider?
IT Manager: (reluctantly) Well, I’ll speak to my colleagues…
The same desk, later on. A second IT Manager looms.
IT Manager 2: Now look here, why are you trying to impose a service level on me?
Legal Bizzle: Er, hello. Have a seat?
IT Manager 2: What? I don’t have time for your lawyer games! Explain yourself!
Legal Bizzle: Well, I’m not imposing it. The client has asked us to propose a service level, and your colleague told me that we can’t meet the one in the document they’ve seen. So, I thought we could propose one that we can meet.
IT Manager 2: Well, that document shouldn’t have been sent to them!
Legal Bizzle: (lost for words) …
IT Manager 2: Anyway, that document can’t be changed. We’re going to stick to the original service level.
Legal Bizzle: But I thought that we can’t meet it?
IT Manager 2: We can’t. But we’ll just explain that to the client when we fail it.
Legal Bizzle: (giving up) But isn’t the client going to be pissed off?
IT Manager 2: That’s your problem. And anyway, I don’t have a process to record the timescales for each incident.
Legal Bizzle: Um, couldn’t you create a process?
IT Manager 2: No, the system doesn’t allow it.
Legal Bizzle: (tentatively) Er… maybe a spreadsheet? Just for this client?
IT Manager 2: You clearly know nothing about IT. Now stay out of my business!
Legal Bizzle: (giving up) Well, it’s your funeral…
Postcript: I did actually manage to get the document changed. Eventually.