Setting Up a Service Level Management Process

A process to manage service levels ensures that all IT services delivered to customers meet agreed-upon standards of quality. It also includes making sure that Service Level Agreements are in place and are being followed, as well as measuring and reporting on service levels, and constantly striving to improve the quality of service offered over time.

In order to accomplish this, it is essential to have the appropriate tools in place. Ofttimes the processes and systems used to determine service levels are contracted out to third party. It is essential to understand how to manage them within your own SLM process.

The first step in setting up a SLM process is determining the essential services 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 select your technology expertise with care – for example, a company that specialises in a specific platform may be able to guarantee higher levels of performance than a generalised service provider.

After the SLA targets have been set the teams must establish a strategy to uphold them. This usually means putting in place systems that monitor the progress of the team, and then automatically notify the team of problems in meeting the goals.

A well-designed SLM process also includes continuous improvement processes. These processes will enable teams to improve and learn through the metrics they collect. For example, if a NOC service is regularly missing its SLA for answering telephone calls within 30 seconds it should be able to determine why this is happening, and fix it.

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