Learning about Service Level Management
The Service Level Management process consists of five key processes. The following diagram depicts the Service Level Management:
|Service Catalog Maintenance
|When a change coordinator asks for a new service, a new catalog item or service is created by using the Catalog Item Template.
|A service level administrator activates the service for a customer after a customer selects a catalog item and decides to subscribe to the service at the level specified by this catalog item.
|Customer Information Maintenance
|This process is used to register new customers or update information of existing customers of the service provider organization.
|A service administrator uses this process to discontinue a service, a catalog item or SLA.
|SLA Review and Request Handling
|A service level manager uses this process to review SLAs at the end of their respective evaluation terms.
ITIL is a compilation of concepts and techniques for managing IT infrastructure and operations. These concepts are published in a series of books that relate to various IT management topics. ITIL standards have been adopted by a very large number of organizations. ITIL is designed so that it can be adopted either in whole, or in part. Even when adopted in whole, there is a great deal of flexibility built into the guidance so that significant details vary.
ITIL goals for Service Level Management
ITIL provides best practice guidance for IT Service Management so that business services are aligned with the technology infrastructure to maximize efficiency. Through the implementation of these best practices, organizations strive to improve efficiency, control the quality management of IT services, decrease costs, and manage risk.
As the adoption of ITIL has increased, it has led to a number of standards that attempt to further clarify and extend the benefits of a structured approach to IT management.
ITIL benefits for Service Level Management
ITIL offers tangible benefits in the form of improved customer satisfaction, return on investment, and the availability and reliability of IT services.
ITIL practices create connections between IT services and the business, which can eliminate inefficiencies that might otherwise impede progress. In addition, ITIL best practices provide opportunities for less tangible but equally important benefits through proactive management. IT organizations should attempt to detect and prevent problems before they occur. Traditional measures, such as revenue or market share, reflect a delayed snapshot of business performance, and do not support the prevention of problems.
By creating a balance between lagging indicators and other measures that may provide early warnings, organizations can learn to manage proactively. Additionally, measures such as customer satisfaction, staff training, internal processes, and service metrics are recognized as those leading indicators of whether an organization can achieve its business goals.
ITIL objectives for Service Level Management
Service level management is a vital process of the ITIL framework because it must be considered throughout each phase of the service life cycle.Service Level Management helps build and manage relationships between IT and IT customers. According to ITIL:
The goal for SLM is to maintain and improve IT service quality through a constant cycle of agreeing, monitoring, and reporting upon IT Service achievements and instigation of actions to eradicate poor service - in line with business or cost justification. Through these methods, a better relationship between IT and its customers can be developed.
As defined by ITIL,Service Level Management is a process responsible for:
- Negotiating service level agreements and ensuring these agreements are met
- Ensuring that all IT service management processes, operational agreements and underpinning contracts are appropriate for the agreed service level targets
- Monitoring and reporting on service levels
- Conducting regular customer reviews
See the following sections to know different approaches to service level management as well as a high-level process for usingService Level Management in your environment.
Goals of Service Level Management
With BMC Service Level Management, IT can manage the entire range of service level agreements, from defining SLAs and monitoring compliance to collecting and analyzing Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data, addressing problem areas, and continually refining the services offered.Service Level Management enables real time, proactive SLA management to ensure that you meet or exceed expectations. As a result, you can keep IT service delivery and support closely aligned with business requirements and continually improve service quality.
Purpose of Service Level Management
The purpose of service level management is to ensure that all operational services and their performance are measured in a consistent manner throughout the IT organization, and that the services and the information produced meet the needs of the business and customers.
Objectives of Service Level Management
The objectives of theService Level Management process are to maintain and improve on an agreed level of IT service quality. The agreed level is provided for currently defined and anticipated IT services. IT service improvement is accomplished through a continuous cycle of agreeing, monitoring, and reporting.
Benefits of Service Level Management
The benefits of Service Level Management are found in service quality improvements, and the reduction in service disruption, which can lead to significant financial savings. Other specific benefits from service level management includes the following items:
- Enables you to pinpoint areas of weakness and take corrective action.
- Helps you to understand the impact to the business for missed service targets.
- Allows you to gain visibility into which agreements are not being met and which agreements exceed compliance targets.
- Allows you to view trends, spot problem areas, and minimize disruptions for key business services.
- Helps IT managers, customer service managers, and other service providers to guarantee a high level of responsiveness to service requests.
- Helps service organizations to assess and monitor the relationship between the support staff and their customers and helps them to meet service commitments.
- Allows service organizations to monitor key infrastructure performance indicators and business services as defined in Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Operational Level Agreements (OLAs), and Underpinning Contracts.
- Provides a means to create goals and monitor commitments through reports and graphical dashboards.
- Improves customer satisfaction.
- Facilitates agreement between business and IT on service priorities.
- Reduces service disruption.
- Helps IT understand the cost to the business for missed service targets.
- Increases understanding of cost, risk, and business priorities.
SLA life cycle management
Service Level Management supports the complete SLA lifecycle. During the first phase of the lifecycle, you use Service Level Management to establish success criteria with a customer. In the second phase, you implement definition and monitoring framework. In the third phase, you manage operations with business priority interlocked to IT processes. In the last phase, you review and improve service based on review results.
Key Performance Indicators
The following table lists the key performance indicators (KPIs) for tracking the success of theService Level Management process :
|SLA review punctuality
|The average number of days from the end date of an SLA evaluation term until the date on which the SLA review was performed.
|Once per SLA evaluation term
|Number of days
|The number of incident requests with the Incident Type field set to "User Service Request" that has been registered by the service level managers.
|Number of incident requests
|The number of SLAs for which the customer has not been registered in the service management application.
|Number of SLAs