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How to structure your SLA goals around priority using JQL

JQL stands for Jira Query Language and is the most powerful and flexible way to search for issues in your service project. Queries are created as simple elements strung together to form a more complex question.

With JQL, you can clearly define what kind of issues should make up an SLA goal. When creating or editing a goal, you'll see prompts to help you fill in the Apply to issues field in the correct JQL format. Read more about grouping your SLAs by priority.

An example goal structure to help improve your team’s service management

This structure helps keep things easy, simple and straightforward. Since all issues belong to the same team, you can choose to create SLA based on broad categories like incidents, service requests, problems, and changes.

This use case also has the most potential for granular configurations, since your service team doesn’t need to share the goal limit with any other teams.

An example of an SLA goal configuration for one project per team

In this example we have have a simple JQL query matching “Ticket category” = Incidents with the 4 time targets underneath based on priority.

  • High priority: 2 hour target

  • Medium priority: 4 hour target

  • Low priority: 8 hour target

  • All remaining priorities: 16 hour target.

If an issue in the project matches “Ticket category” = Incidents AND ”Priority” = High it will display a time to resolution SLA of 2 hours.

For more information on JQL syntax, see Use advanced search with Jira Query Language.


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