Establishing Operational Service Level Agreements

It is an interesting truth, but a sad reality that there are a lot of courtroom dramas witnessed in the past years due to breach of contract of service level agreement or SLA. It is indeed interesting to wonder how come there are still such cases that happen when both the service provider and the customer have already agreed on everything that was set on paper before the contract has been signed. It is quite saddening to see a relationship broken down by just mere misunderstandings. This is the primary reason why there is a need to write down an operational service level agreement so as to avoid conflicts in the future.

An operational SLA is something that is realistic and reasonable to both parties. Every single detail of the agreement should be emphasized before contract signing, from the identification of services that should be rendered, to the performance metrics that should be scored and reported, to the number of operational hours and staffing required, up to the expected turn around time given if ever system failures come in the way. In addition, the conditions of the SLA should be discussed first by the manager (s) to his / her staff so as to prevent confusion once all has been settled and to raise disputes before the actual signing will be done. It is a good practice to share sentiments and suggestions to the service provider so that false expectations will be eliminated. Everybody should be aware of the consequences and enough understanding should get in the way so that harmonious working relationships will be established.

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