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How to implement effective SLAs

Phil Hearsum | Aug. 5, 2014
Successful service level agreements are founded on a clear comprehension of the outcomes the business wants from IT service management

Are flexible SLAs' a contradiction in terms?

Stuff happens and sometimes the SLA has to bend as a consequence: when a major system goes down or the CIO provides the service desk with an unexpected priority, then it's unavoidable. Naturally, the service provider has to be conscious that an SLA is being breached.

And when SLAs go "out of the window", communication is vital to ensure the people affected by this understand why it's happening. Once again, it's about managing expectation and, when the dust settles, reviewing what went wrong with the business users affected.

SLAs and best practice frameworks

The processes and procedures enshrined in ITIL are certainly there for a reason, but they are not meaningful in isolation. They need to support the necessities of the business.

A best practice framework underpins the agreed processes but needs to be accompanied by a cultural sensitivity for what will work within the organisation in essence, the principle of adopt and adapt.

Having a clear and defined process tells you what you need to make a decision on SLAs you can't have one without the other. And when combined with the cultural appreciation of the wider enterprise and its priorities, it also gives you the understanding of how to implement them.


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