Setting Up a Service Level Management Process

A service level management system makes sure that all IT services offered to customers meet agreed upon levels of quality. It also includes ensuring that Service Level Agreements are in place and are being met, measuring and reporting on the service levels, and continuously working to improve service levels over time.

It is essential to have the correct tools in place to achieve all of this. Often the systems and processes that define service levels are leased out to third party. It is important to understand how to manage them within your own SLM process.

The first step to set up a SLM procedure is to identify the essential services to the company, and establishing reasonable measures of the success of the process. This includes aspects like effectiveness, user base, and design considerations. It is important to select the expertise in technology of a company that is focused on a particular platform may be able to commit to greater performance than general service providers.

After the SLA goals are established and the team has to develop a plan to maintain them. This usually means implementing systems that track progress and alert teams automatically when there are issues in meeting the targets.

A robust SLM process also includes ongoing improvement processes. These will enable teams to learn from the metrics they track, and discover ways to improve the processes that cause problems. For instance, if an NOC service is regularly missing its SLA for answering calls within 30 seconds it should be possible to identify the reasons for this, and correct it.