More by Kit Merker:How do we measure the customer experience? Nobl9 Demo: Setting up a Prometheus SLO with the Web UI An Easy Way to Explain SLOs and SLAs to Business Executives Nobl9 Demo: Kubernetes Cluster Failover Scenario Reliability Evolution from Datacenter to Cloud: Interview with Less Lincoln, SRE at Microsoft
| Author: Kit Merker
Talking to your boss about new approaches they may need to become more familiar with is daunting. You have to understand where they’re coming from and their priorities, even as you suggest that your team explores something new. As an engineer, you know the importance of Service Level Objectives (SLOs) in ensuring the reliability and efficiency of your applications. However, convincing your boss to adopt them can be a daunting task, especially when you are met with resistance such as "We won't see the business impact," "We're not reliable enough," or "We can build it ourselves." But with the right approach, you can persuade your boss to embrace SLOs and reap the benefits. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of SLOs, how to overcome objections, and suggest a script you can use to propose the adoption of SLOs.
SLOs ensure your applications meet user expectations and achieve business goals. By setting measurable objectives for reliability, performance, and availability, you can identify areas where your application needs improvement and take corrective measures before users are impacted. According to the State of SLOs 2023 survey, companies that adopted SLOs saw improved service reliability, speed, and quality, resulting in better user experience and increased customer loyalty. Yet, despite these benefits, some bosses may resist the adoption of SLOs due to a lack of awareness or concerns about cost and complexity.
You can refer to industry reports and success stories to convince your boss that SLOs are worth adopting. For example, you can reference the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) report Maximizing Business Efficiency and Growth with Prebuilt SLO Platforms that companies using SLOs reduced their staff costs by $342,500 by cutting down on the time it took staff to investigate alerts and alarms.
When addressing objections, it's essential to acknowledge your boss's concerns and provide data and evidence showing that the benefits of SLOs outweigh the costs. For instance, if your boss is concerned about the price, you can explain how investing in SLOs can help reduce downtime, improve customer satisfaction, and avoid costly outages. You can also propose an experiment or proof of concept to assess the value of SLOs on a small scale before expanding to more extensive applications, minimizing risks and costs.
The cost of not having SLOs can help your boss understand the value of adopting SLOs. Downtime and poor application performance can lead to lost revenue, decreased customer retention, and reputation damage. Setting SLOs allows you to identify and resolve issues before they impact business operations proactively. You can use data and industry reports to provide examples of the impact of poor application performance on businesses.
Why You Should Care
Adopting SLOs is critical to ensuring the reliability and efficiency of your applications. By proposing an experiment or proof of concept, you can demonstrate the value of SLOs and minimize the risks and costs of adoption. As an engineer, it's essential to educate your boss about the benefits of SLOs, address their concerns, and provide data that supports the adoption of SLOs.
By proposing an experiment or proof of concept, you can demonstrate the value of SLOs and minimize the risks and costs of adoption. Finally, remember to highlight the cost of not having SLOs, and how they can lead to lost revenue, decreased customer retention, and reputation damage. With the right approach and evidence-based proposal, you can successfully convince your boss to adopt SLOs and reap the benefits.