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Locomote Support 101: Severity

In Locomote Support, our tickets are defined and categorised according to a severity or business impact scale. While our Support team treats every ticket and user the same, at times our efforts are prioritised based on the business impact of the issue.

Our severity definitions determine how severe we think an incident is, based on some pre-defined guidelines. The intent is to guide our Support team on the type of response they can provide, ensuring the best possible outcome and support for the company and/or its user(s).

Overview

Support requests within a severity level are generally processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For example, on the off chance we have 2 Critical (Severity 1) issues and 3 Urgent (Severity 2) issues, the 2 Critical requests will be handled first (by first come-first serve) and then the Urgent requests will follow accordingly.

Critical or Urgent requests that require immediate response or direct intervention by our engineering team and/or liaison with our executive level team (along with public notification by our systems) may be processed out of turn, as this is deemed as business critical.

Reference

As you can see from our Support Severity Scale below (or SSS for those who love a good acronym) we can relate Severity to an injury from a scratch (low priority, nothing to worry about) to being in hospital (critical, it needs around the clock attention.) Our Support team uses this scale along with guidelines to best determine where an issue will fit in the engineering backlog of bugs, problems, enhancements and tasks.

Severity Levels

Severity 1 - Critical
The Locomote Corporate Travel Platform is down or has a major malfunction resulting in all or multiple companies affected, whereby users are unable to reasonably perform their normal functions. No workaround is available and immediate action must be taken.

A Critical (Severity 1) issue warrants public notification and liaison with executive teams. The specific functionality is mission critical to the business and the situation is considered an emergency.

Qualifying Conditions

  • Locomote server completely unusable (Example: the Locomote Corporate Travel Platform will not load, web pages are giving a 404 error, etc.)
  • Users are unable to log-in and access their account
  • Messaging/Email notifications within the platform has failed, whereby no notifications are being sent/received at all
  • Users are unable to search for and or book flights (either online or offline via their Travel Management Company)
  • The Locomote weekly product update deployment has failed and requires to be rolled back and/or an issue has been caused from a new feature/bugfix that was released

Support Attention

Requires maximum effort from Locomote Support and the Engineering team(s), as well as the User to ensure that an emergency fix is developed, or workaround is available immediately.

If the authorized or designated user contact is not available to engage in this effort, Locomote Support may reduce the Severity level. If the user refuses to implement the steps suggested to troubleshoot, test or correct the issue, Locomote Support may close the ticket.

Severity 2 - Urgent
Critical system issue actively impacting the application functionality or performance of several users ability to use the platform and perform their normal functions. While the platform is usable, it is severely limited where no workaround exists or if one does, it is inconvenient.

Possibly may require public notification with timely updates when available.

Qualifying Conditions

  • Interruptions to some, but not all, modules (Examples: Modules not functional for some users but functional for others.)
  • Multiple reports of users being unable to book or approve travel and/or bookings are not being processed
  • Time sensitive issue reported by users, which may adversely affects productivity
  • Important tasks cannot be performed, but the error does not impair essential operations (Example: Server performance is slow or when updating a Profile, it does not update in a timely manner causing the User to not be able to select a Workflow and book or approve travel.)
  • Other examples: Policies not applying to the user when searching for and selecting flights, hotels and cars.

Support Attention

Requires intensive support effort from Locomote, the Engineering team(s) and the User, until a fix is developed or workaround is readily available.

If the authorized or designated user contact is not available to engage in this effort, Locomote Support may reduce the Severity level. If the user refuses to implement the steps suggested to troubleshoot or correct the issue, Locomote Support may close the ticket.

Severity 3 - High
Performance stability or minor user-impacting issues that require immediate attention from product owners. The result is that multiple users are impacted in performing their normal functions.

A convenient workaround exists/minor performance degradation/not impacting production. A good example of this is where users are creating incorrect/incomplete bookings. High Severity issues can be defined by if left unattended, could turn into an Urgent Severity issue.

Qualifying Conditions

  • System is up and running, but the problem causes non-negligible impact. Workaround exists, but it is only temporary (Example: A user’s profile has a Credit Card issue, they can book offline via their Travel Management Company however, this needs to be actioned in order for the user to correctly utilise the Locomote Corporate Travel Platform.)
  • The platform still functions as normal but there are functional limitations that are not critical in the daily operation. (Example: The Dashboard is loading incorrect data)
  • Does not prevent operation of the platform or there is some degradation in performance
  • Moderate loss of application functionality or performance resulting in multiple users impacted in their normal functions
  • Important to long-term productivity (Example: Current workaround is manual and takes twice as long vs. the automated way, which is unavailable.)

Support Attention

Requires moderate support effort from Locomote Support, the Engineering team(s) and possibly the User, until a fix is developed or workaround is available.

Normal Impact (Severity 3) situations do not require around-the-clock effort but are still considered to be ahead of ‘normal’ support requests.

If the user refuses/ignores implementing the steps suggested to troubleshoot or correct the issue, Locomote Support may close the ticket. Similarly, if the user fails to respond to the Locomote Support team, they can close off the ticket.

Severity 4 - Medium
Minor issues requiring action but does not affect the ability to use the platform. One or more users are unable to complete a task, or one user creates an incorrect/incomplete booking. Can consist of higher degree of knowledge "how-to" questions that may involve input from an engineering team to answer, as it’s a more technical question.

Severity 4 is the Default Severity that all tickets start out, until they are investigated and graded accordingly.

Qualifying Conditions

  • Problem has minor impact to the company or user, or occurs in functionality that is not critical to everyday tasks
  • Performance issues (delays, slow response times etc).
  • Delayed job failure (Example: Report not generating, some notifications not being sent).
  • User unable to log in or complete a booking for a week from now
  • Adhoc reports are required, whereby a direct report is pulled from the database by an engineer
  • Database-related fixes that only an engineering team can fix
  • Issues with User’s profile

Support Attention

Requires medium support effort from Locomote and User, until a fix is developed, a workaround is available or an answer to a user question has been provided.

Medium Impact (Severity 4) situations do not require around-the-clock effort and are considered ‘normal.’

If the user refuses to implement the steps suggested to troubleshoot or correct the issue, Locomote Support may close the ticket. Similarly, if the user fails to respond to the Locomote Support team, they can close off the ticket.

Severity 5 - Low
Minor loss of application functionality, product feature requests, how-to questions. Low Severity refers to cosmetic issues or bugs, not affecting the user’s ability to use the Locomote Corporate Travel Platform.

Low Severity includes issues related to one or multiple modules, configuration inquiries, booking inquires, usage inquiries, enhancement requests, user interface/graphics (cosmetic) improvements or report/documentation questions.

Qualifying Conditions

  • Problem does not have significant impact to the User or occurs in functionality that is not critical or frequently used (Example: Administrator is having trouble with uploading a logo to help brand the platform. Doesn’t stop the platform from working.)
  • There are no extenuating circumstances that would require this issue to be resolved outside of the normal platform (Example: User has general questions about functionality of an item. The User does not understand X in our Help Centre and would like clarification).
  • The problem causes little impact on your operations or a reasonable workaround for the problem has been implemented
  • The problem results in minimal or no interruptions to normal operations (Example: User has questions about customising a feature or module)
  • Non-critical or Feature Request question
  • Minor infractions including documentation or cosmetic error not impacting production (Example: Branding etc).
  • User experience bugs that prevent the user from having a ‘nice’ experience (Example: Proper notification is not displayed when a form is incorrectly filled out).

Support Attention

Requires low support effort from Locomote, the Engineering team(s) and the User, until a fix is developed, a workaround is available or an answer to the user question has been provided.

Low Impact (Severity 5) situations do not require around-the-clock effort. Most issues from Medium will be downgraded to Low Severity, after further review.

If the user refuses to implement the steps suggested to troubleshoot or correct the issue, Locomote Support may close the ticket. Similarly, if the user fails to respond to the Locomote Support team, they can close off the ticket.

Remember

Locomote Support reserves the right to reclassify the priority level at any time if we reasonably believe the classification is incorrect. Re-classifications are almost exclusively used in situations where a ticket is submitted as Critical or Urgent, but the situation contradicts the Critical or Urgent definition. Locomote Support team members may also increase or escalate the severity level if the situation is deemed to be more urgent than originally reported.

 

Need to Know

As a User of the Locomote Corporate Travel Platform, when submitting a Support ticket, you are requested to supply detailed information (ie. What the issue is, how to reproduce the issue, exact error messages, possible changes made to the system or environment prior to the issue, etc.) for the Locomote Support staff to properly identify and diagnose the issue and speed up response and resolution of the ticket.

Failure to supply this information upon request may result in delay of support assistance, while our Support team will have to spend time (and potential resources) to dig to try and find this information out via other means. They may have to come back to you with additional questions, to help clarify the issue, further delaying the future outcome.

Therefore it is imperative that from the moment you Submit a Request that you provide clear, detailed information (including any screenshots or documents) for us to help you in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Currently Locomote Support cannot guarantee a fixed problem resolution period due to several influencing factors. Some of these are:

  • User's timely replies
  • Response time of a third-party company and/or engineering team(s) involved
  • The process involved in preparing and releasing a bugfix, update, new feature, etc.

Note

The Business Impact / Severity of a support ticket is set according to the guidelines listed below. Since it is not possible to define every possible condition or scenario (as there would be millions of possibilities), these guidelines should only be used as intended, as a guide.

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