Setting Up a Service Level Management Process

A process for managing service levels ensures that all IT services delivered to customers meet agreed-upon levels of quality. It involves ensuring that Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are in place, are being adhered to and service levels are measured and reported on.

To do all of this, it is crucial to have the necessary tools in place. Often, the systems and processes that define service levels are outsourced to third-party companies. It is therefore crucial to understand how to manage them in the context of your own SLM processes.

The first step in setting up a SLM procedure is to identify the services that are essential to the business and establishing a reasonable set of metrics for success. This is usually a matter of considering factors like efficiency of the user base, as well as design aspects. It is crucial to select the expertise in technology of a company that is focused on one particular platform might be able to commit to higher levels of performance than a generalised service provider.

After the SLA targets are set the teams need to create an action plan to ensure they are met. This will usually involve putting in place systems to monitor the progress of the team, and then automatically notify the team when there are problems in meeting the targets.

A well-designed SLM procedure also includes continual improvement processes. These will help teams to analyze the data they collect, and find ways to improve the processes that cause them problems. If, for example, a NOC service fails to meet its SLA of answering calls in 30 seconds, then it’s possible to identify the cause and fix it.

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