PERIODICAL REVIEW OF SLA DOCUMENT

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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: 

 

  1. What kinds of service(s) are available along with agreed service time for each service?
  2. How service(s) would be delivered to the customer?
  3. What would be the cost of the service which is being offered?
  4. 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?
  5. Monitoring of defined level of service(s) & reporting on each defined criteria for performance of service(s).
  6. 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.

  1. A service or a group of services may have impacted due to any major incident or any change in infrastructure.
  2. There may have a significant change in structure of an organization &/or strategy of the organization.
  3. There may have major changes in support window/ availability of service(s) & components of IT.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  1. Identify the need for SLA Review.
  2. Plan for Review (identifying & communicating the stakeholders on SLA review)
  3. Preparation for Review (collecting the pointers on which a discussion should happen between stakeholders for SLA revival.)
  4. Conducting the review (based on the requirement from all stake holders, revised requirements to be gathered & documented)
  5. 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.

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How to Achieve Excellence in Your Performance

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How to Achieve Excellence in Your Performance

Actions can be controlled, but results cannot. Therefore, concentrating on improving your actions or performance is more important rather than focusing on the results. If you achieve excellence in your performance success comes naturally. However, the challenge is – How to achieve excellence.

Here are some rules that will help you achieve excellence in your performance:

Rule 1: Break Convenience to Achieve Excellence.   

While hiring employees, many organizations tend to have an Average Approach. To elaborate this further, we’ll take an example of a call center project. Here, an XYZ company plans to hire staff to start up a call center unit. For this the board comes together for a discussion and they conclude that they will expect 10,000 calls a day. The board takes an average and decides that each person can handle 60 calls a day and they require total 167 employees to set-up a division.

Yes, no wonder this is a right way of calculating which further helps you to keep your odds. However, if an employee, who has a capacity to handle 200 calls a day joins, then his / her performance comes down to average.

Therefore, if you plan to be excellent in your performance try to challenge yourself by stepping out of the convenience because convenience always gives birth to an average performance and mediocrity.  

-Dr. Subhash Chandra Goel, chairman of Essel Group, an Indian conglomerate.

Companies when mapping employee performance, usually, pin-point average / below average performers and take efforts to give them training in order to help them excel. Yes, it is right, organizations must look forward to help people improve their performances. But, on the same time they need to conduct advanced training for employees who are excellent. This will create a generation of excellent performers.

Rule 2: Set Achievable Targets

The targets make achieving excellence easy, but they have to be specific, attainable, measurable, realistic and timely. Abstract targets are just fairytales and unachievable.

Thinking about your goals in this fashion helps you perform extraordinarily.

Rule 3: Take risk which can be easily paid-off. 

Risk is an important factor while you are aiming towards being excellent in your performance. However, while you take a risk make sure it’s not blind. Always calculate the consequences and analysis, whether you are ready for it. If it backfires, you must have resources and potential to pay the risk off easily.

This applies while taking a loan. The first thing you need to check is your financial backup and look for ways how you can pay the loan off, if your business fails.  Do not take a risk without proper analysis of the consequence.

 Think for the best, prepare for the worst while you take a risk. 

Rule 4: To be excellent you require certain skills like – Mapping the talent, relating to it and excelling in it. 

1.Mapping the talent: 

To be excellent, know your talent. It is important that you know your strengths and inner qualities. This helps you jotting down your interest and which further exceeds you towards excellence.

If your organization aims to excel then choose a right talent as per the position.

2.Relating to the talent: 

Once you know when your interest lies and what is your talent then get attach to it.

For an organization – it has to get attach with the talent, in this case employees. An HR has to connect employees with each other and build a family.

3.Excelling in it: 

Increase your knowledge about your talent. For instance, if you have a good voice and you are a good singer, take up training to excel. Because learning something you love makes your path towards excellence smooth as butter.

For an organization, given training to your employee to strengthening their talents.

Striving to be excellent is good, but make sure you even learn to accept Failures. Success can make a person arrogant, but the failures keep the person humble, therefore, to be excellent failures are also needed. Remember, this fact that failures are inevitable. However, it’s not the end of everything. So, do not get disturbed or depressed.  Mild depression is normal, but if it exceeds then its toxic. Failures give you an opportunity to learn from the experiences. So welcome them with open arms.

THESE 3 GREAT LEADERS SHOW US HOW TO TACKLE A CRISIS SITUATION EFFICIENTLY

There are leaders who lead. There are leaders who guide. There are leaders who empower others. But there are very few leaders who are able to manage a crisis situation and lead a team through it.

Crisis

The crisis is a sudden occurrence of unplanned and unexpected events that causes instability within an institution which leads to a major disturbance among the individuals who are the part of that institution. This institution could be a family, profit/non-profit organization, educational body or any other organization that works as a team. A team leader, head of the family or CEO of an organization plays a very important role in managing these catastrophic situations.

Here are some examples of excellent leadership who not only managed the crisis but also restored the organization’s image.

 

  1. Mary Barra became the first lady CEO of General Motors, in 2014. She attained a mark of two months and the company faced a disastrous situation. It came across in the news that GM had sold 1.6 million cars with faulty ignitions for more than 10 yrs. Due to this defect; more than a dozen lives were killed. Through a PR activity, Marry Barra took a complete responsibility of this crisis. She apologized by saying, “Something went really wrong… and terrible things happened.” Though media initially criticized this move of hers, but later on, the same media made statements like “She showed a ‘Human Side’ and that’s what a leader has to do”. The Huffington Post published an article on her saying, “GM’s Barra Leads from the Front.” The New York Times wrote a piece on her initiatives saying, “GM Chief Steps Up to Handle Safety Questions.” In 2015, she was listed number one in Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list.

Moral: Leaders motivate and say, “Together we fall, together we rise”, but here is a leader who takes complete accountability for the actions committed by the company as a whole. She had shown courage to take the blame and responsibility to resolve the issue from its root.

 

  1. In 1993, PepsiCo came into limelight with a news report saying that a syringe was found in a can of Diet Pepsi, in Washington State. The CEO Craig Weatherup and FDA were very confident that this claim is a rumor. Therefore, Craig personally came in front of the national television with visual evidence that proved, he was right and the news was wrong. This visual proof was a surveillance tape showing a woman inserting a syringe into a can of Diet Pepsi. He made his PR team produce a series of videos that showcased how the soda canning process worked.

Moral: Weatherup’s trust in his product and company made him strong to investigate and produce evidence that helped Pepsico restore their image. This example of excellent leadership shows that a leader must trust his organization in the crisis situation and must take aggressive stands wherever required. In this way, Craig successfully suppressed the rumors and the sales were recovered within several weeks.

 

  1. In 2003, Cadbury found itself tangled into a hurricane, when many people from Mumbai found worms in their Dairy Milk Bars. Bharat Puri, the managing director of Cadbury India, took control immediately and improvised the packaging in order to stop further infestation. The company invested Rs. 25 Crs in order to upgrade their machinery and packaging. Even the 5 Rupees bar had a double packaging. All types of Cadbury Bars were first wrapped in aluminum foil and later enclosed the bar in a ploy-flow pack which was sealed on all sides. In order to, improve their Brand Image they signed Amitabh Bachchan as a brand ambassador. A high profile TVC was produced showcasing Amitabhji visiting the Cadbury plant, inspecting the process and finally consuming a chocolate bar. The company made a comeback and the sales were restored successfully.

Moral: The Company who had a pride in itself for its spotless image faced a disaster in which it was responsible for the infestation. But Mr. Puri took immediate actions and took a lead to manage the crisis. He led and found a way out to deal with the crisis.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gms-barra-leads-from-the_b_5068795.html?section=india

http://www.businessinsider.com/pr-disasters-crisis-management-2011-5?IR=T

http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2014/03/21/gms-recall-scandal-a-scorecard-on-ceo-mary-barra/

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/19/business/gm-creates-a-global-vehicle-safety-position.html?_r=0

http://fortune.com/most-powerful-women/mary-barra-1/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffloftus/2014/03/19/mary-barras-leadership-legacy/#7c3ab9413c7a

http://www.holmesreport.com/latest/article/how-the-pepsi-syringe-hoax-fizzled-(1993)

http://www.newsweek.com/great-pepsi-panic-193794

http://www.rediff.com/money/2004/oct/30cadbury.htm