Tell me more about service level management
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- Service level management practice is an absolute key practice that's so important in so many worlds of service these days. Fundamentally, through service level management practice, we'll sit down, as a service provider, often engage with actual consumers, in particular, the customers of service in the actual end organization that we're servicing. And in a very relationship building way we'll actually structure and critically agree business space service levels and business space targets within those with those end customers, which then actually stimulates how we're going to deliver the products and services. And once we've done that, we'll not then just agree to those service levels, we'll then constantly monitor, assess, report and review with the customer against those service levels and ensure that the customer is actually achieving what they require through the use of the consumption of those services.


- And that is the key word, agreement. So we talk about a service level agreement and it is as simple as it seems. It is an agreement against the levels of service that we are delivering, as a service provider, or are receiving as the consumer. The whole purpose of service level management, at it's start, is to make sure that we have this agreement. It is a two way street. We should have agreement of responsibilities and requirements from both parties. We should try and keep it simple. There's no point in over complicating it. We're trying to deliver the levels of service that the consumer wants to gain value for both the consumer and for the service provider. So, let's have a clear understanding of exactly what we're talking about and exactly what the level of service is. It should be very much focused upon the outcome, rather than just a series of metrics that looks at the various outputs. If you do not focus upon the outcome, from a service level management perspective, then you run the risk of having or getting to the point we call the watermelon effect or the watermelon report. And what do we mean by the watermelon report? Everything looks green on the outside, but inside it's red. Do you understand what I'm saying? On the outside, it looks great because we've got a whole series of metrics that says, "look how brilliant we're doing," but from the consumer perspective or from the service provider perspective it's chaos inside. If we have good service level agreements we should get rid of the watermelon effect because we have simple, clear, defined outcomes.

About the Author

Martin is a professionally qualified and experienced IT Professional with over 25 years of experience in the IT industry. He has held a number of senior roles and has experience of large-scale IT Service Management implementation programs both in public and private sectors. He has over 15 years of experience working for QA as both a Senior principal lecturer/consultant and as Head of Service Management Product Development. Martin has delivered training to a wide variety of audiences, both UK and internationally, to consistently high levels of customer satisfaction.

His main role at QA is acting as a Head of Service Management Product Development to enable QA to deliver high quality, interactive training in the following areas:

  • Delivering a wide range of public ITIL, SIAM, and BRM courses
  • Delivering onsite ITIL and SIAM courses
  • Developing high-quality QA authored Service Management courses and courseware across all delivery mechanisms including classroom, e-learning, and virtual
  • Working with Industry partners to develop new curricula and courses – Recent examples include ITIL Practitioner and the BCS EXIN SIAM Foundation qualifications