Setting Up a Service Level Management Process

A service level management system ensures that all IT Services delivered to customers are of agreed levels of quality. It is about making sure that Service Level Agreements are in place and being observed, measuring and reporting on service levels, and continuously working to improve service levels over time.

It is crucial to have the correct tools in place to accomplish all of this. Ofttimes, the systems and processes used to define the service levels are subcontracted out to third party. It is therefore crucial to know how you can best manage them in the context of your own SLM processes.

The first step to set up an SLM process is to identify which services are essential for the business and establish acceptable metrics for the success of the process. This includes factors like effectiveness, user base and design considerations. It is also important to select your technology expertise with care – for example companies that specialize in a specific platform may be able of committing to higher levels of performance than a generalized service provider.

Once the SLA targets have been set, teams need to implement a strategy to ensure they are met. This typically means implementing systems that track progress and alert teams automatically when there are problems in achieving targets.

Furthermore, a strong SLM procedure will include continuous improvement procedures. This will help teams take the information they track, and discover ways to improve the processes that cause problems. If, for instance an NOC service is consistently failing to meet its SLA of answering calls in 30 seconds, then it is possible to pinpoint the reason and fix it.