Setting Up a Service Level Management Process

A process of managing service levels ensures that all IT services offered to customers meet agreed-upon 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 the quality of service offered over time.

It is essential to have the right tools in place to achieve all of this. Often, the processes and systems that define service levels are outsourced to third-party businesses. It is therefore vital to know how you can best manage them in the context of your own SLM processes.

The first step to set up a SLM process is identifying what services are important to the business, and establishing reasonable metrics for success. This will include aspects like efficiency, user base, and design considerations. It is also crucial to select your technology expertise with care – for example, a company that specialises on a specific platform might be able of committing to higher levels of performance than a more generalised service provider.

After the SLA goals are established the teams need to create plans to keep them. This typically involves implementing systems that monitor the progress of the team and notify them automatically when there are issues with meeting goals.

A well-designed SLM process also includes continuous improvement processes. These processes will enable teams to improve and learn through the metrics they track. For example, if a NOC service is often not able to meet its SLA for answering phone calls within 30 seconds, it should be possible to determine the reasons for this, and fix it.

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