- Evaluate your current service levels. …
- Identify your objectives. …
- Choose a contract format. …
- Determine the level of service. …
- Articulate the terms of the agreement. …
- Clarify performance expectations. …
- Outline payment expectations. …
- Include appendices if necessary.
A service level agreement (SLA), also known as an SLA, is a crucial component of any IT company’s service level management (SLM) strategy. An SLA limits your liability as an employee or contractor while outlining the organization’s obligations to its clients as a managed services provider and providing you with protection.
Service Level Agreements
When would you use an SLA?
Some businesses use a service level agreement each time they sign a contract with a supplier or subcontractor. Consistency in doing so can help to ensure consistent results and expectations. These documents may adhere to a standard template, or a business may customize its SLA documents for each firm, client, or internal division they work with. SLAs can occasionally be brief and only cover the essential information on a page. Other times, they might be hundreds of pages long. The requirements of the businesses or individuals involved determine the SLA’s frequency, length, and content.
What is an SLA?
It’s crucial to comprehend what an SLA is before learning how to write one. An SLA, or service level agreement, is a document that specifies the kind and caliber of services provided and is signed by both the service provider and the recipient. These agreements’ specific contents vary depending on factors like the particular sector, business, and service they cover.
Common SLA components include a service definition, an explanation of the level at which the service will be provided, specific metrics for evaluating the service, and potential sanctions for either the service provider or the service recipient who violates the terms of the agreement. Typically, SLA documents include both businesses and the service providers they use. They can also be applied internally, between departments of the same company, or in the context of a relationship between a business and a customer.
How to write an SLA
Here are some steps you can follow to write your own SLA:
1. Evaluate your current service levels
Start by distinctly identifying the services you currently receive and the quality of the delivery. When you start using an SLA, use your assessment of your current service circumstances to help direct the process of setting objectives and standards for various services and service types. Think about carrying out this assessment for every vendor for whom you might need to create an SLA.
2. Identify your objectives
Review the level of service you currently receive with your current contractors and think about the level of service you would like to receive from new ones. Determine what adjustments need to be made if the level of service you require is higher than what is currently being provided in order to meet your expectations. When creating your final SLA document, be sure to specify which contracting party is providing the service.
3. Choose a contract format
Next, think about a structure for your SLA that will enable you to meet the goals you’ve set. For each vendor agreement, some businesses may use a standard SLA template. If so, think about how you could adapt that template to suit your needs. For each organization or person with whom they enter into a contract, other businesses might modify their SLA documents. In these situations, carefully consider the format that will best meet your needs. Think about the kinds of data you might need to include, the ideal length, and other elements that can help you organize your SLA.
If necessary, make sure to consult a professional regarding any legal implications or language in your SLA.
4. Determine the level of service
Describe the level of service required to achieve your future service goals after analyzing your current service conditions and identifying them. This may take into account elements like the scheduled service time, the service’s scope, scale, and purpose. Some businesses also provide an overview of potential outcomes in the event that service is cut off or delayed.
5. Articulate the terms of the agreement
Next, clarify each partys responsibilities under the service level agreement. This could include the obligations of the service provider, the length of the agreement overall, and any significant exceptions to these terms. If there are any, the contracting party’s expectations could be outlined in your SLA’s terms.
6. Clarify performance expectations
Consider including performance metrics once you’ve clearly defined the service’s scope, the level at which it should be provided, and any applicable specific terms of your agreement. Some businesses establish precise guidelines for different service levels, such as what constitutes a minimum level of service and what qualifies as commendable or acceptable. The key performance indicators, or KPIs, of the contracting company may be related to the service level agreement expectations.
7. Outline payment expectations
Include that information in your document if your SLA contains components that could change the financial terms of the main contract. Address any potential service level agreement deviations and related costs.
8. Include appendices if necessary
An SLA may occasionally include words or details that are particular to a sector or business. In an appendix to your SLA, it may be beneficial to include accepted definitions of these terms. In cases where the service level agreement’s financial details may change, some businesses also use an appendix to specify price levels.
9. Revise and edit
It’s crucial to go over your service level agreement once you’ve finished drafting it to look for any language that needs to be clarified or added. Certain language in an SLA may occasionally be predetermined by the business. If so, make sure they are included correctly and where they belong. If you are the author of the document, check it carefully for conventions that are free of errors as well, as technically sound writing can exude professionalism and authority.
10. Obtain necessary approvals
An SLA’s objective is to create a contract between a business and a vendor, person, or department. As a result, it’s crucial to finish the process by obtaining any necessary approvals from those involved. Make sure to change your SLA carefully and in accordance with company policy if negotiations call for it.
What are 3 types of SLAs?
An agreement between an IT service provider and a customer is known as a service level agreement (SLA). For instance, if you are a bank customer and the bank offers you services. The services offered and the service levels at which they will be provided are outlined in a service level agreement between you and the bank.
Who should write an SLA?
Service-level agreements (SLAs) come in three basic flavors: customer, internal, and multilevel. An agreement on the level of customer service is made between a service provider and its external clients. It is sometimes called an external service agreement.