Service Level Management
Adopting the Service Level Management (SLM) process is a key principle of CSI. While in the past many IT organizations viewed SLM as merely a smattering of isolated agreements around system availability or help desk calls this is no longer true. SLM is no longer optional. Today's business demands that IT be driven by the service model. This service orientation of IT toward the business becomes the foundation for the trusted partnership that IT must endeavour to create. Today IT is a core enabler of every critical business process. IT can no longer afford to operate as the 'geeks in the basement' but rather must strive to be included in every channel of communication and level of decision making all the way to the boardroom.
SLM involves a number of steps:
- Fully accepting that the IT organization must become a service provider to the business or cease to be relevant
- Involving the business and determining their service level requirements
- Defining the internal portfolio of services: services that are planned, in development, in production. This service portfolio also contains modular or component services which will make up a finished service package
- Defining a customer-facing Service Catalogue which details every service and service package offered by IT with options, parameters and pricing
- Identifying internal IT departmental relationships, negotiating the terms and responsibilities of the internal relationships, and codifying them with Operational Level Agreements (OLAs)
- Identifying existing contractual relationships with external vendors. Verifying that these Underpinning Contracts (UCs) meet the revised business requirements. Renegotiating them, if necessary
- Utilizing the Service Catalogue as the baseline, negotiate Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with the business
- Create a Service Improvement Plan (SIP) to continually monitor and improve the levels of service.
Once the IT organization and the business begin working together through Service Level Management, IT management soon realizes that the old definitions of 'successful IT' are beginning to fall by the wayside. A high network availability percentage or great ratings in a customer satisfaction survey are no longer the end goal but merely positive metrics rolling towards the achievement of a service level. IT management understands that with the adoption of Service Level Management a fundamental shift has taken place. The definition of success in IT is now crystal clear. It has become the service level - a set of expectations mutually agreed to by IT and the business. IT is then structured, managed, staffed, funded, and operated to meet or exceed the service levels. The service level rules and everything else is just details. A complete SLM process is defined in the ITIL Service Design publication.
More on Service Level Management
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Other ITIL Processes
- Configuration Management
- Service Desk Management
- Incident & Problem Management
- Change Management
- Release Management