Setting Up a Service Level Management Process

A process for managing service levels ensures that all IT services provided to customers meet agreed-upon levels of quality. It also includes ensuring that Service Level Agreements are in place and being met, measuring and reporting on the service levels, and continually striving to improve the quality of service offered over time.

In order to accomplish this, it’s essential to have the necessary tools in place. Most often the systems and processes used to determine service levels are contracted out to third parties. It is therefore vital to understand how to manage them within the context of your own SLM processes.

The first step to set up a SLM process is identifying the essential services to the business and establishing a reasonable set of metrics for the success of the process. This will include factors such as efficiency, user base and design considerations. It is important to choose the right technology expertise that a company that is specialized in a specific platform may be able to provide more efficient levels than a generalised service provider.

After the SLA targets have been set the teams must establish a strategy to ensure they are met. This typically involves putting in place systems that track progress and alert the team of issues with meeting targets.

In addition, a robust SLM process will have built-in continuous improvement procedures. They will allow teams to analyze the data they collect, and find ways of improving the processes that are causing problems. For instance, if an NOC service is regularly missing its SLA for answering phone calls within 30 seconds it should be able to figure out why this is happening, and correct it.

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