Setting Up a Service Level Management Process

A process of managing service levels ensures that all IT services offered to customers meet agreed-upon standards of quality. It is about ensuring that Service Level Agreements are in place and being observed, measuring and reporting on service levels, and continually striving to increase the quality of service over time.

It is vital to have the right tools in place to accomplish all of this. Ofttimes the systems and processes used to define service levels are leased out to third parties. It is important to know how to manage them within your own SLM process.

The first step to set up a SLM procedure is to identify the services that are essential to the company, and establishing reasonable metrics for success. This typically involves analyzing aspects like efficiency of the user base, as well as design aspects. It is also crucial to choose the right technology expert – for example, a company that specialises in a specific platform may be able of committing to higher levels of performance than a more generalized service provider.

Once the SLA goals have been established the teams must implement a strategy to meet them. This usually means setting up systems to monitor the progress of the team, and then automatically notify the team when there are issues in achieving targets.

A strong SLM process also includes continuous improvement processes. These will enable teams to gain insight from the metrics they track, and discover ways of improving the processes that are causing problems. If, for instance, an NOC service repeatedly fails to meet its SLA of responding to phone calls within 30 seconds, it’s possible to identify the root of the problem and fix it.

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