Over Recent years most businesses have progressed somewhat significantly when it comes to their expectations from IT, which is a good thing. Perception is normally King and there are really only a couple of ways the business can monitor performance of IT, and certainly one of those is through Reporting and establishing effective Service Level Agreements (SLA's).
When it comes to standard SLA Reporting, most Service Management toolsets are more than capable of providing what I refer to a 'standard' Service Level Reporting eg: Number of incidents/changes raised, resolved, closed etc. Out of the box features can normally cater to your specific requirements using the operational data loaded within the tool with a minimal amount of effort. It's when the business starts to ask for end to end performance reporting on a service that a totally new level of thinking and solution is required.
ITIL® describes a Service as 'A means of delivering value to Customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific Costs and Risks'.
Building reports and SLA's for specific Services can be a little more complex and may require you to pull from other such ITIL® processes such as Availability & Capacity Management to ensure that agreements meet both yours and the businesses requirements. Let's use 'email' as a simple IT Service example, a simple corporate email service may include a Single Email Software application, Email Server and of course an Internet Connection. Your email SLA maybe to ensure email is working and is available for use 99% of the time between 7:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday. For this simple SLA example, to meet your agreed Email SLA you need to consider the management of 3 separate components (Email Software, Email Server & Internet Connection). Here are 5 tips to help you map out and build more effective and robust SLA's
1. Take the time to map out all of the components involved with the end to end flow of a Service
2. Go back and validate these, with all of your stakeholders and try to validate different stakeholders from your original groups.
3. Understand the critical between each of the components, and scale of each of the components.
4. Understand the Integration points between the components and potential impacts to the end to end flow
5. Work out the maximum threshold of each component and the relationship to the end to end SLA.
Good Luck, Until Next Time,
About The Author:
Kirk is the Founder and Principal Advisory Consultant at Service Management Specialists, he helps people and organisations to improve the way they plan, design and operate Information Technology specifically within the IT Service Management & IT Process Improvement domains for the modern workplace. Kirk has provided guidance to hundreds of people around the world, helping to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real world experience.