See John Ingham Experts on The Implementation of a Service Level Contract The purpose of this service level agreement is to describe the most important services we offer and the quality standards we have agreed with our service users regarding the provision of the service. (Click on the icon to download) SLAs often fail because expectations are not explicitly clear from the start. However, it is important to strike the right balance between carefully defining requirements and establishing an effective and successful relationship with the supplier. It is essential that the supplier is fully engaged and committed to meeting and exceeding service objectives. If you are in the identification phase of a supplier, a service specification is already available. «This should describe in detail what the supplier has to provide, writes in edition instead of inactivity,» says John Ingham, senior advisor to the human capital management board Penna Consulting. The Service Level Agreement (SLA) is not only the cornerstone of your requirements – what is delivered and how much it will cost – but is also the main point of repair if the relationship ends. This agreement is reviewed annually as part of the annual planning process and changes are agreed with service users. The amendments to this agreement are signed annually by all parties. Partners are moving towards profit-sharing agreements to ensure that both parties focus on the same outcome. These rules go beyond the application of sanctions for non-compliance with minimum service levels, which are offset by incentives for exceptional services.
Instead, they allow the supplier to evaluate invoices for achieving stretching goals and making additional value available. In the search for cost reductions, we can forget that service quality management is a work in progress and requires a framework and procedures. Many organizations also tend to forget that outsourcing is a «partnership,» so it is important to keep in mind that responsibility for the working relationship rests with both parties. An ALS is an agreement between two parties describing the service provided, which documents service level targets (on which service is measured) and defines the responsibilities of the service provider (HR) and the client (employee and manager). The ALS must contain some kind of escape clause. But it is important that it focuses on ensuring the relationship between supplier and customer rather than dealing with what happens when things go wrong, as is the case.