How to Establish Service Level Agreements (PDF)

How to Establish Service Level Agreements (PDF)

Understand Service Level Agreements (SLA).

Develop your understanding of this tricky subject and prepare you to create you own SLAs.


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This book provides comprehensive, practical guidance on how to establish Service Level Agreements, or SLAs.

Naomi Karten has many years of practical experience helping organizations write, structure and improve SLAs. This book reflects all that experience.

If you'd we prefer, we also offer this book with other essential SLA reading in our Naomi Karten Writing Effective SLAs Bundle. This bundle contains all four guides (including this one) on SLAs by Naomi Karten. Otherwise read on for more information on this book.

A service level agreement (SLA) is an excellent mechanism for helping a service provider and its customers achieve a shared understanding about services and service delivery. An SLA is a communication tool that helps manage the expectations, clarify responsibilities, and provide an objective basis for assessing service effectiveness.

Establishing a successful service level agreement can be a complex undertaking, and is not always the solution to every problem. If established in the wrong way or for the wrong reason, it can create bigger problems than those it is trying to solve.

This handbook will help you understand SLAs and enable you to create your own SLAs by:

  • Discussing what an SLA is not - and what it really is;
  • Describing what makes a service level agreement (SLA) fail to work and how to make it work;
  • Explaining how a service level agreement can help to improve communications, manage expectations, and building the foundation for a win-win relationship
  • Outlining the key elements of an SLA and their functions
  • Providing detailed guidelines for planning, developing and managing an SLA
  • Enabling you to critique an existing SLA or one that is under development

While most of the information in this handbook, including the examples, can be readily adapted to other contexts between non-IT parties, this handbook focuses primarily on SLAs between IT organizations and their internal business unit customers.


Author: Naomi Karten
Publisher: Naomi Karten Associates
Pages: 182
Format: Electronic Download (Zipped .PDF 0.9MB)
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