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How To Develop SLAs?

In today’s business climate, management are on the quest to tighten budgets and pressure on resources. Several public and private organisations (including local authorities) are outsourcing services to external organisations under ‘service level agreements’ or ‘service level contracts’.


SLA (Service Level Agreement) is defined as a contract between a service provider and a customer. It includes (in detail) the nature, quality and scope of the service to be provided. SLAs can be lengthy and complex, but they are essential in providing good service and maintaining a pleasant working relationship between vendor and customer.


How to develop SLAs?


There are six steps to developing a SLA: –


  1. Understanding the ‘baseline’ position

This requires both service providers and customers to have a clear understanding of the operations of their organisation – i.e. how are their services working at present, what are the standards of their services etc.


  1. Understanding the drivers & demands that are to be placed on the SLA implementation

This step requires both service providers and customers to understand each other’s interests and also the cost that are associated with the planned activities. This way they can better identify and address the efficiency gaps and shortfalls that the agreements are meant to address.


  1. Initial consultation with service providers/customers

This stage will allow both parties (service provider and customer) to know the personnel who will be the point of contact throughout the duration of the contract. It will also give a primary understanding of the organisational structure of both parties to avoid communicating to irrelevant personnel in the organisation.


  1. Agreeing upon a framework

This will require both parties to agree on the basic conditions and initial details of the agreement. This should be tailored according to the needs required by the customers and the services that service providers are able to provide. The reporting and monitoring process for the required service should also be make known at this stage.


  1. Developing a detailed SLA with providers and customers

A detailed SLA will include clear milestones and end points. Service providers and customers should also think about maximising use of limited staff time by facilitated consultation events and designated personnel of each review stage.


  1. Agreeing implementation and roll out plans

Personnel implementing the project will need a clear route map of trial periods, accounts settlement, output data etc. It may be useful for service providers to factor in a shadow running period, so that customers can track progress and make any relevant or necessary changes before rolling out the project.


Implementing & Managing Successful Service Level Agreements is a 2-day course that equip relevant personnel with the right skill to design, develop, implement and world class SLAs for their organisation. The course will be delivered by a renown trainer who has over 40 years of experience in the area of services management, and participants will learn how to identify, define and deliver services that are agile and provide organisation with a sustainable competitive advantage. For more information, please visit us at or contact us at



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