A good Service Level Agreement SLA is a work of art and just like a work of art it takes time, a certain skill, and a passion to craft good ones. SLAs have become an expected part of the IT landscape yet the majority of them are poorly written and often inadequate to protect the interests of the both the client and the provider.
The results are disappointed clients, frustrated providers and at their worst, disputes Noviy zavet online dating lawsuits waiting to happen.
SLAs provide the ground rules for interaction Noviy zavet online dating providers and their clients, and establish the baseline against which expectations are set. Most people who draft SLAs are the individuals who will most likely be living with the monitoring and enforcement of the services.
An SLA should work as a living document, allowing the parties who inherit the deal to work together for the benefit of both companies. To me a Service Level is simply a specific standard agreed to between a customer and a provider. A Service Level Agreement should be a commitment to provide a service at a level, defined and clearly written, in terms understandable to those not party to the agreement.
It should detail the customer expectations, measurement of the service, calculation of the
Noviy zavet online dating and outline the process for correction and reporting and provide for remedies in the event of failure.
An SLA may be external or internal but the key is to get all your information up front, including your business requirements so you can draft a document that will reflect the expectations of the customer.
Only you know who your true customer is and that subject is itself enough material for another entire article! How will you be able to measure the success of the SLA? If done correctly, the impact of a quality SLA can have upon a company is felt the way from operations down to the corporate bottom line. Rushing an SLA is to be avoided. Time is critical not only to allow Noviy zavet online dating the gathering of your
Noviy zavet online dating but to be able to review the metrics with your team, determine where the holes are and creating incentives or penalties you may want to impose.
The truth is that the sales cycles are long but the negotiations cycles are often too short. By the time IT or strategic sourcing negotiators get involved the project has become urgent and if you are under the gun, the provider has the advantage.
The SLA is often the last element negotiated and is often short changed in the process. So why is it so hard to write a good SLA? Time, measurement, clarity and experience. The primary goal of creating SLAs should be to create metrics that mean something to your organization. What you want are metrics that will improve the service and provide impact not only to the bottom line but to the end user or customer.
People often approach an SLA with the idea of how to put the provider in the position of monitoring themselves. While that may not be the initial intent of the outcome, here is why it often happens. Since they do not have adequate teams to manage SLAs even in large outsourcing dealsthey let the bite of the penalties manage the deliverables.
That is starting from the wrong end of the equation in my book. It is somewhat like letting the stick drive the horse, and may emphasize the adversarial aspect of the relationship.
That is not the
Noviy zavet online dating you want to set when you are entrusting your business processing to an outside company. That allows you Noviy zavet online dating spend your dollars where they provide the greatest return. Writing a good SLA takes not only time but practice.
It often requires a multi-disciplinary approach involving technology, financial analysis, negotiation, and contract drafting skills. If you have never written one or have only done one or two and are now facing a major project perhaps you should get some advice or Noviy zavet online dating from an outside consultant who does this type of work for a living. I say that first because I believe in the model Noviy zavet online dating second because of all the many times I have worked to fix, amend or recreate SLAs that were not crafted correctly the first time.
The cost of poorly-crafted SLAs is always far greater than if you did it correctly the first time.
Again, the cost of errors in such a project is significantly higher to you than hiring the contractor. Conversely if you were hanging shelves in the garage, if you make a mistake the error recovery is minimal, so getting experience on projects with smaller negative potential outcomes is a reasonable decision.
If you talk to people about what an SLA should do they can come up with good answers but again, the end result often gets lost in the application of the agreements, penalties and credits.
The outsourcer has a responsibility to a quality product and they should be viewed as an integral part of the overall corporate organization. Since they are not an actual part of the organization may be aligned on processing but not on your ultimate business goals they need to be monitored in a co-ownership manner to ensure that the objectives of the outsourcing process and the terms of contract are being met.
Monitoring, reporting, renegotiating and adjusting the metrics should be an ongoing process. You expect your internal units to be flexible, responsive to the business climate and provide a competitive advantage to your organization, the same thing should be true of your outsourcer and the SLAs reflect those expectations. Noviy zavet online dating fact, there should be monitoring and tracking of just such results.
How has the provider managed their business and technology investments in ways that benefit you? Remember a good SLA outlives the lifecycle of the negotiations and will survive Noviy zavet online dating in internal ownership of the agreement, or even business conditions.
I test the SLAs I write by asking people who are not experts in this field if they can understand the intent. You will most likely move to another position, project or career before the outsourcing agreement is terminated but there will be a series of individuals-- both in your company and Noviy zavet online dating the providers-- who will
Noviy zavet online dating to interpret and perform to these SLAs without your assistance, so they need to be clear and able to be understood by all parties.
That is a challenge. I always assume that something will wrong and try to figure out first how to prevent it, and second, if something does go wrong, how I can fix it? Then I try to build that thinking into the SLAs. Having a backup process incorporated into the agreement to resolve issues is critical to having an SLA that survives over the long term. I once had someone suggest that a contract had too many SLAs to monitor and that it would take too long to review the reports each month.
They thought it was complicated because it took an effort each month to review the metrics. Frankly, it should take an effort to review your monthly reports, especially for a mission critical project. Not only should you review them but you should analyze them to make sure that you understand how they got there. Monthly reports not only provide status, they can be an warning system for potential issues down the road.
By understanding and addressing issues early on, you can stop them from becoming problems. As always relationships count.
Set up clear lines of communications between you and the provider. The project managers need to spend time building the relationship and making sure that they address issues together to the benefit of both organizations. If both parties are clear on the objectives, work to meet those goals and improve the business both will profit and it will be a clear win-win for both of organizations. The next major issue is one that may seem negative but one which you must address up front, and this is very important but often completely ignored; termination for convenience and cause.
You need to protect the organization if problems arise.
Cause can be acquisition by a competitor, consistent and continuing failures in the SLAs, breach of contract, failure to stay abreast of technology and many other business specific criteria. You need to detail what constitutes termination, what the support Noviy zavet online dating transition costs will be and who will pay for them, what you own when you leave and what the outsourcer will do to support you until you either insource or find another provider.
Yes, drafting an SLA takes time, patience, and skill but if it is done correctly it provides an environment where an organization can develop new initiatives, see them properly and accurately
Noviy zavet online dating and receive benefits, all at a price that is reasonable to the organization.
She can be reached at or by email at ditka reinerassociates. Ditka is also a regular blogger for My Purchasing Center. Subscribe to eNewsletter Login Register.
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