l - ITIL v3 - The Key to SLM Quality

l - ITIL v3 - The Key to SLM Quality - Introduction ITIL...

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Introduction ITIL has clear definition of Service Level Management and goes into great detail regarding the process, implementation and the content of the key deliverable the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The question is, is the SLA really the key deliverable? ITIL does not go in to great detail of other items that form the make up Service Level Management and in particular Service Level Requirements (SLRs), Operational Level Agreements (OLAs), Underpinning Contracts (UCs) and the Service Catalogue. This article focuses in more detail on these items and aims to provide detailed guidance on their production. The final outcome will be an understanding of whether ITIL is too focused on the production of SLAs? Service Level Agreements Although this article will not focus on SLAs it is vital to outline what we mean by an SLA. A Service Level Agreement is a documented agreement between IT and its Customer (Internal to an Organisation), on the levels of a service being provided. In my opinion the most important aspect of an SLA is that it is an Agreement and hence bears no contractual weight to meet these targets but it is still a commitment. The SLA should not favour one side but be a fair reflection of what the business wants and what IT can provide and not a smoking gun held pointing towards IT or a method of avoiding providing an adequate service to the business. It does however set expectations’ of what should be provided. The obvious risk of missing Service levels is damage to the business however one of the biggest failings of not hitting agreed Service Levels is the effect this will have on Customer perception that can ultimately result in Customers losing faith in IT. Another common failing is the inability for organisations to create agreements which are simple to read and concise. An SLA should not be twenty pages long (and my experience this is not uncommon) but be simple, easy to read and preferably no longer than 3 to 4 sides of A4. ITIL itself identifies ways of making this work across large organisations with multiple services. The use of Customer based SLAs (one SLA per Customer across multiple services), Service Based SLAs (one SLA per service), and multi-tiered SLAs where there will be Corporate based SLAs, Customer based SLAs and then Service Based SLAs in three tier format all offer the ability to enable the creation of simple easy to manage SLAs. In a previous article I have mentioned the Mathematics of Service Management and some simple rules to follow when creating metrics. These rules can be applied to SLAs, OLAS and UCs. Many organisations spend far too long coming up with encompassing SLAs that in truth are not measurable so never give an understanding of how the service is performing, therefore all the work put in to their creation is wasted. Service Level Requirements
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l - ITIL v3 - The Key to SLM Quality - Introduction ITIL...

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