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Service Level Management

Service Level Management (SLM) negotiates, agrees and documents appropriate IT service targets with representatives of the business, and then monitors and produces reports on the service provider’s ability to deliver the agreed level of service. SLM is a vital process for every IT service provider organization in that it is responsible for agreeing and documenting service level targets and responsibilities within SLAs and SLRs, for every activity within IT. If these targets are appropriate and accurately reflect the requirements of the business, then the service delivered by the service providers will align with business requirements and meet the expectations of the customers and users in terms of service quality. If the targets are not aligned with business needs, then service provider activities and service levels will not be aligned with business expectations and problems will develop. The SLA is effectively a level of assurance or warranty with regard to the level of service quality delivered by the service provider for each of the services delivered to the business. The success of SLM is very dependent on the quality of the Service Portfolio and the Service Catalogue and their contents, because they provide the necessary information on the services to be managed within the SLM process.

4.2.1 Purpose/goal/objective

The goal of the Service Level Management process is to ensure that an agreed level of IT service is provided for all current IT services, and that future services are delivered to agreed achievable targets. Proactive measures are also taken to seek and implement improvements to the level of service delivered.

The purpose of the SLM process is to ensure that all operational services and their performance are measured in a consistent, professional manner throughout the IT organization, and that the services and the reports produced meet the needs of the business and customers.

The objectives of SLM are to:

  • Define, document, agree, monitor, measure, report and review the level of IT services provided
  • Provide and improve the relationship and communication with the business and customers
  • Ensure that specific and measurable targets are developed for all IT services
  • Monitor and improve customer satisfaction with the quality of service delivered
  • Ensure that IT and the customers have a clear and unambiguous expectation of the level of service to be delivered
  • Ensure that proactive measures to improve the levels of service delivered are implemented wherever it is cost-justifiable to do so.


SLM should provide a point of regular contact and communication to the customers and business managers of an organization. It should represent the IT service provider to the business, and the business to the IT service provider. This activity should encompass both the use of existing services and the potential future requirements for new or changed services. SLM needs to manage the expectation and perception of the business, customers and users and ensure that the quality of service delivered by the service provider is matched to those expectations and needs. In order to do this effectively, SLM should establish and maintain SLAs for all current live services and manage the level of service provided to meet the targets and quality measurements contained within the SLAs. SLM should also produce and agree SLRs for all planned new or changed services.

This will enable SLM to ensure that all the services and components are designed and delivered to meet their targets in terms of business needs. The SLM processes should include the:

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