A process for managing service levels ensures that all IT services offered to customers are in accordance with agreed-upon levels of quality. It also includes ensuring that Service Level Agreements are in place and being followed, as well as measuring and reporting on the service levels, and continuously working to improve service levels over time.

In order to accomplish this, it’s crucial to have the proper tools in place. Often, the systems and processes that determine service levels are outsourced to third-party firms. It is therefore vital to understand how to manage them in the context of your own SLM processes.

The first step in setting up an SLM process is to determine the services that are most crucial for the business and set acceptable measures of success. This will often include considering aspects like efficiency of the user base, as well as design aspects. It is crucial to choose the expertise in technology you require that a company that is specialized in a specific platform may be able to guarantee greater performance than a generalised service provider.

Once the SLA targets have been set teams must implement a strategy to ensure they are met. This typically involves setting up systems that track progress, and automatically alert the team of problems in meeting the goals.

A solid SLM procedure also includes continual improvement processes. These will help teams to take the information they collect, and identify ways to improve the processes that are causing them problems. For example, if a NOC service is consistently not meeting its SLA to answer phone calls within 30 seconds it should be possible to figure out the reason for this, and fix it.