How to Write SLA Agreements

Whether you’re looking to outsource your IT services, or just want clearer terms of engagement with your vendor, an SLA (service level agreement) is the way to go. An SLA provides a mutual understanding of expectations and clarifies how you will measure success. It also helps reduce friction between departments within your organization and can help you to build stronger working relationships.

The first thing to remember when writing an SLA is that it must be mutually agreeable to both parties. This means it should include a detailed description of the services offered, including what each service is, how long it takes to be delivered and where dependencies exist. It should also clearly state the metrics to be used to measure performance levels, a compensation regime in the event that services fall below the expected level and the termination rights for critical failures.

Finally, it’s important to ensure that the metrics chosen are not only fair to both parties but also easily monitored. If you include too many specific metrics which may be difficult to monitor then the SLA becomes less effective. It’s also worth remembering that SLAs should be reviewed at least every 18 to 24 months even if technical capabilities haven’t changed much, as this will reduce the chances of an out-of-date SLA.

SLAs are becoming increasingly popular for IT related services but can be used in a wider scope to provide clarity and structure to agreements with other departments within your business too. For example, an SLA can be created between a sales team and a marketing team to outline the support that each team will receive from the other in generating leads. sla agreements

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