Service Level Management: How to Manage SLAs and OLAs Masterfully

Service Level Management

When defining, documenting, and delivering services to customers, it can be a little difficult (read: incredibly taxing) to keep on top of everything.

As Philipp Unterharnscheidt and Axel Kieninger at the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute both say:

“IT services supporting business operations are an increasingly critical factor for business success today (Guldentops 2003). The management of service quality, which is the central objective of Service Level Management (SLM), however remains a major challenge for many companies.”Philipp Unterharnscheidt and Axel Kieninger, Service Level Management – Challenges and their Relevance from the Customers’ Point of View

To help companies keep on top of things – and manage their services, service levels, and SLAs and OLAs masterfully – there’s service level management.

This may be the point where you’re thinking “But what, exactly, is service level management? What are the benefits of it? The best practices so it’s done properly? And how would Process Street even help with service level management?”

Worry no more, reader. You’ve come to the right place.

Just read through these sections to get to grips with service level management:

Let’s dive straight in. ⬇️

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Operational Level Agreement (OLA): The SLA’s Kick-Ass Sidekick

Operational Level Agreement

Let’s face it.

Delivering stellar services to customers and clients can be tough.

And with villains such as poor communication, stress, and human error constantly rearing their ugly heads, it makes that job even harder.

In fact, a study by Quantum Workplace found that more than 80% of people thought miscommunication happened very frequently, frequently, or occasionally in the workplace, while Identity Guard uncovered that the average American employee makes 118 mistakes per year.

So that mistakes are quashed, miscommunication is thwarted, and that everyone is on the same page so the objectives, targets, and goals defined in your service level agreements (SLA) can be upheld, an OLA is the answer.

An OLA is to the SLA what Robin is to Batman. Superboy to Superman. Chewbacca to Han Solo. And by reading through the following sections in this Process Street article, you’ll discover why an OLA makes for a kickass side-kick:

Now, don your cape and let’s fly through this post! ⚡️
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What is an SLA? How to Use Service-Level Agreements for Success

sla service level agreementServices, services, services.

We seem to be in a world of managed services.

Everyone’s outsourcing nowadays. And when they’re not outsourcing, they’re insourcing in an outsourced way.

It’s all very confusing.

That’s why we’ve decided to break down the core document which tends to regulate and organize this kind of service provision: the humble service-level agreement (SLA).

Service-level agreements, amongst other things, bolster trust in and between organizations – making it clear what needs to be done, to what standard, and when.

Trust is a hugely important thing in business. Accenture’s Competitive Agility Index found:

following a drop in trust, a company’s index score drops 2 points on average, negatively impacting revenue growth by 6% and EBITDA by 10% on average.

One of the main ways to keep trust alive in your business is to know what is expected of people and to hold them to it. Enforce reliability.

SLAs are one mechanism to help you in that battle.

In this Process Street article we’ll answer the following questions:

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