Service Level Management
The purpose of Service Level Management (SLM) is to ensure that the service targets are created, negotiated, agreed upon, documented, monitored, reviewed, and reported to the customer. SLM acts as a liaison between the customer and the service provider which sets the targets in terms of quality, time, and scope as per the SLR and SAC.
The Service Level Management (SLM) process is responsible for seeking a realistic compromise between the customers’ needs, expectations, and the cost of associated services, such that these are acceptable by both the customers and to the IT Organization. Service Level Management is also responsible for:
- Performing service reviews
- Creating reports on SLA’s, OLA’s & UC’s
- Defining metrics and KPI’s
What is a Service Level Agreement?
Service level agreement (SLA) is a document/agreement that describes the scope of services, details of services, availability, quality, recovery times, etc.
SLA Definition Process
Defining SLA should involve the participation of all the service owners, process owners, and all other stakeholders from the IT organization. This definition process can be mentioned as Planning, Development, Piloting, Publish, SLA Activation & Monitoring.
Service Level Agreement Template
The planning process involves:
- Understanding the business requirements of the customer (with respect to the scope of services, timeliness, etc.) and translating them into IT requirements.
- Gather and analyze historical data from customers or from previous experiences (where similar services were offered to any other customer).
The development process involves:
- Define, develop, negotiate, and standardize SLTs for SLA.
- Encompass SLTs in SLA.
- Get approvals from customers on SLA.
- SLA will contain details like:
- stakeholders involved
- stakeholders involved
- start, review, and end dates
- scope of services
- roles and responsibilities
- operational hours
- holidays list
- service costs
- incentives and penalties
- Define detailed metrics, KPI, etc.
Mandatory details needed for SLA development are:
- vendor’s name
- vendor id
- vendor type (elite, large scale business, medium scale business, small scale business)
- SLA id
- SLA name
- SLA type
- service hours
- start date and end date
- description of the SLA
When the service provider is not sure about the realistic conditions in operations; the service provider does the piloting before base-lining the SLAs for the next quarter or half a year. When it’s a Greenfield project, the service provider pilots operations and observes the trends, issues, and patterns for a few months and then baselines SLAs. The service provider should keep revisiting the piloted SLAs and redefine them after the observations.
In this phase, SLAs are standardized and published. Management and stakeholders are made aware of the consolidated SLAs.
In this phase, SLAs are activated for the live IT operations. IT operations take the defined SLAs as a baseline and execute the IT operations.
Monitoring is the main focus of SLM, which involves:
monitoring the weekly reports, monthly reports, quarterly reports and evaluates the quality of services.
This is proactively advising the operations and ensuring that there are no SLA misses or breaches, preventing penalties, preventing customer escalations and threats.