Industry expert Stephen Mann returns with another blog! Today, it shares what constitutes or violates your service level agreements (SLAs). Learn how to leverage your organization`s SLAs with Stephen`s five SLA best practices for better business outcomes. According to ITIL 4, a service level agreement (SLA) is “a documented agreement between a service provider and a customer that identifies both the services required and the expected level of service.” Simply put, an SLA defines what the IT service provider and customer should expect when contracting a service. Measuring performance or success at the wrong times – on time or during the service value chain – is a common mistake. Here`s an example I`ve used before that still seems true today: Yes, there are agreed service level goals for a particular service, but is it still fair to stick to them? In all circumstances? The answer must be “no”. Especially in times of extreme disruption like now with COVID-19. For more information about service level management, see the BMC Service Management blog and these articles: Compare IT operations to pizza delivery operations. The pizza company has a lavish store and has invested in the best catering equipment (read the state-of-the-art data center). It employs highly skilled chefs who are proud to create culinary masterpieces.

When the pizza leaves the store, it scores ten points out of ten on the internal measurement system. But this measures at the time of creation and not at the place of consumption. Now consider the customer`s view of the pizza when it arrives: it`s late, cold, there`s too much cheese, the wrong toppings, and it costs more than the customer expected (and wanted) to pay. When you take a step back and look at your company`s SLAs and how service level management is done, are you satisfied with what you see? Or is there room for improvement? Especially when it comes to how you continually create, use and improve SLAs? In the ITIL service lifecycle, SLAs are defined and modified in the key areas of service design and continuous service improvement. This means that SLAs for IT services must be created in parallel with all specifications for new and updated services. Whenever an IT department is designed or modified, the associated SLA must also be reviewed and modified to ensure that it is fair, enforceable and realistic. Companies that fail to review and adjust their SLAs during times of improved IT services may no longer meet their service level objectives, which could result in lost customers or penalties for non-compliance with SLAs. Ask yourself, “What is the purpose of your SLAs and the service level management activity that surrounds them?” Please pause and think a little before reading the following ITIL 4 definition: With that in mind, here are six best practices for creating and meeting IT service SLAs in an IT service management (ITSM) environment. In Stephen`s next blog, he`ll talk about the next evolution of enterprise service management: shared services. Subscribe to our blog to make sure you don`t miss it! SLAs must be created for the results desired by the customer.

Pay attention to the “watermelon effect,” where the service provider responds to SLA metrics (e.B. service availability) while not supporting your customer`s actual goals. What happened to these SLAs after that? Were they “put on a shelf” and then forgotten? Maybe just to be pulled down, to point out that a party is not doing or delivering what it should? Or maybe these SLAs have been used consistently but never updated to reflect changing times in terms of service construction, industry benchmarks, or, most importantly, customer needs? For me, the key term in this definition of ITIL 4 is “company-based.” SLAs that allow you to stand out directly from industry best practice benchmarks or simply consider appropriate measures of quality levels are not necessarily what company stakeholders consider to be the expected level of service delivery. Hopefully, these five best practices for SLAs will help you shape your thinking on how SLAs should be used in your organization to achieve better business outcomes. If you have any thoughts or questions, please let me know in the comments section below! For example, your SLA can guarantee 99.9% availability for telecommunications lines. .