Service Level Management

The object of IT Service Level Management is to maintain and gradually
improve business aligned IT service quality, through a constant cycle
of agreeing, monitoring, reporting and reviewing IT service
achievements and through instigating actions to eradicate unacceptable
levels of service.

IT Service Level Management is responsible for ensuring that the
service targets are documented and agreed in IT Service Level
Management and monitors and reviews the actual service levels achieved
against their IT Service Level Management targets.  SLM should
also be trying to proactively improve all service levels within the
imposed cost constraints.  SLM is the process that manages and
improves agreed level of service between two parties, the provider and
the receiver of a service.

IT Service Level Management is responsible for negotiating and agreeing
service requirements and expected service characteristics with the
Customer, measuring and reporting of Service Levels actually being
achieved against target, resources required, cost of service
provision.  IT Service Level Management is also responsible for
continuously improving service levels in line with business processes,
with a SIP, co-coordinating other Service Management and support
functions, including third party suppliers, reviewing IT Service Level
Management to meet changed business needs or resolving major service
issues and producing, reviewing and maintaining the Service Catalogue.

IT Service Level Management addresses the entire life cycle of a
service, from the implementation of the service to the retirement or
"sun setting" of the service. The review processes inherent to IT
Service Level Management are designed to address not only service
delivery itself, but evaluates the ongoing viability of the current
service; whether or not it is still providing value to the
organization. If valuable, the review process addresses the adequacy of
the services as provided. If no longer required, the IT Service Level
Management process creates a new agreement with the customer as to how
the service will be retired, what services will replace the retired
service and how the IT Service Level Management process initiates and
addresses the new replacement services as provided.

The results of the IT Service Level Management process are codified in
service level agreements (SLAs). Service level agreements also provide
specific targets against which the performance of the IT Department can
be evaluated. The successful IT Service Level Management process
results in an improvement in service quality, higher levels of customer
productivity, and a subsequent reduction in the overall cost of
services provided. IT Service Level Management also establishes and
maintains the channels of communication between IT and its customers.

Specific benefits from SLM include:

    * Services provided by IT are those truly required by the business

  •     All parties agree and have a clearer view of roles and responsibilities
  •     Specific targets against which service quality can be measured, monitored, and reported are in place
  •     Focuses IT effort on those areas that the business considers important
  •     IT staff and customers having a clear and
    consistent expectation of the level of service required and delivered
  •     The customer is engaged into the service delivery chain
  •     The relationship between IT organizations is formalized
  •     The relationship between IT and suppliers is formalized
  •     Positions IT, to more accurately account for and possibly recover the cost of services provided to customers

The scope of IT Service Level Management is to maintain and gradually
improve IT Service quality, through a constant cycle of agreeing,
monitoring, and reporting upon IT service achievements and instigation
of actions to eradicate poor service – in line with business or cost
justification. IT Service Level Management is the name given to the
processes of envisioning, planning, developing, and deploying IT
service delivery to customers. Service level agreements provide the
basis for managing the relationship between the provider and the
customer.

The IT Service Level Management Process is designed to establish,
maintain, measure, and adjust to service requirement changes. It does
so through agreements with all parties involved in the service delivery
process. In order to ensure proper service delivery, IT establishes
formal agreements with:

  •     Customers in the form of service level agreements (SLAs)
  •     Internal IT organizations in the form of operating level agreements (OLAs)
  •     Suppliers through underpinning contracts (UCs)

Relationship to Other Processes: The successful implementation of the
IT Service Level Management process involves a coordinated effort of
all service management functions (SMFs). The creation of SLAs and OLAs
requires input from all SMFs. The service level manager must have an
open line of communication to the business process owners and each SMF
manager and must provide the managers with guidelines for the reporting
of OLA information. The service level management process is not
effective unless all SMF managers are willing to cooperate.

Recording and maintaining a Service Catalog is one of the most critical
aspects of a Service Level Managment process. A key success factor of a
Service Catalog is being able to capture the availabilty requirements
for that service, the resolution time for that service, and which
departments in the business use that service.
{youtube}mKH6Itzbkx8{/youtube}