Periodical review of SLA Document: –
Before going into the details “why we should review one of the most important documents in service delivery-“SLA”(Service Level Agreement), we must first try & understand what is it all about?
SLA is a document that carries all specifications (preferably quantifiable) of all service(s) which would be provided to the customer. It defines relationships, responsibilities of service provision organization & its customer.
Crafting of a relevant, efficient & unambiguous SLA document requires hard work, domain knowledge, expertise & a huge amount of patience.
A typical SLA document widely addresses below:
- What kinds of service(s) are available along with agreed service time for each service?
- How service(s) would be delivered to the customer?
- What would be the cost of the service which is being offered?
- What would be the quality of service or level of service which is being delivered as per customer expectation referring to Service level Requirement document?
- Monitoring of defined level of service(s) & reporting on each defined criteria for performance of service(s).
- When a review would be conducted of initially defined SLA’s that also should be defined along with stakeholders from both parties.
There are so many details about service(s) should be elaborated with clarity in SLA document for understanding to both parties & it should be agreed by them by considering this document as formal agreement.
Here we are focusing only on why we should really review SLA document periodically?
So as we all are aware that today’s environment is so dynamic, a lot of changes are happening every day. Technologies are getting upgraded frequently for delivering better, faster, cheaper & accurate information as & when required to the businesses; IT departments are keep on trying for IT-Business alignment & in this alignment Internal IT organization (dept.) is equally important along with partners/vendors responsible for provisioning of required service(s).
So it’s much recommended to align & realign the need of service(s) to satisfy businesses expectations from IT & these need of the service(s) should be documented in SLA at the time of revision.
Below are some points which should be leading to review & align/revised SLA expectations periodically.
- A service or a group of services may have impacted due to any major incident or any change in infrastructure.
- There may have a significant change in structure of an organization &/or strategy of the organization.
- There may have major changes in support window/ availability of service(s) & components of IT.
- A new technology has evolved in market & customer organization may have an expectation of adopting the same immediately or a service provider may have to implement it due to pressure of competitive market.
- Significant changes in business processes & so in IT services which need immediate attention for converting & describing the requirement in SLA’s.
One must agree upon the timelines for formal reviews of SLA’s & the defined timeline also should be a part of SLA document. Informal review of SLA may happen during Monthly, Quarterly meetings. New requirements may come across with suitable justifications during daily operations of the service(s), a proper analysis of service(s) performance also a very good input to revise an SLA but these are very informal way of demanding change in SLA.
We may take several steps like below for periodical review of SLA’s & this would be a formal way of demanding the change.
- Identify the need for SLA Review.
- Plan for Review (identifying & communicating the stakeholders on SLA review)
- Preparation for Review (collecting the pointers on which a discussion should happen between stakeholders for SLA revival.)
- Conducting the review (based on the requirement from all stake holders, revised requirements to be gathered & documented)
- Justify & finalize the requirement in SLA’s.
We must apply PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) Cycle for planning the improvements in SLA’s based on identifying requirement from stakeholders & revising the SLA’s for supplier, vendor to align with the business requirement/expectations periodically to improve the service(s) performance.