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ITIL :: View topic - SLA question
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SLA question

 
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Lola
Newbie
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Joined: Jun 06, 2006
Posts: 14
Location: US

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:45 am    Post subject: SLA question Reply with quote

I am a Service Delivery Manager and have been tasked with writing a lot of SLA's.
My question is, I knwo the SLA's are suppose to be at the service level, but my group keeps going back to the application level.
Under ITIL, the business facing SLA's should be at the Service Level....but where in the SLA's are the individual applications addressed?
I cant even think of an example to give...but I'm trying to figure out how I can write these SLAs and include the support requirements for applications. I also have some applications that cross over multiple services...do they need to be outlined in more than one Service SLA?

We have some blank SLA templates to use, but I have not seen an actual one written at a service level that would show how this would be done.
Appreciate any guidance!
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rjp
Senior Itiler


Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 255
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lola,

first let me say you are not alone. This is a common challenge. Also, full points to you for even twigging to the difference between the Service from a buisness point of view and an IT point of view. The fact is that most SLA's are either system SLAs or apply to services the map directly onto discrete configuration architecture - and so don't pose category problems.

The real difficulty is in setting up metrics, and establishing how you would monitor and report on Service performance - when key measurements will be coming from applications and other types of CIs.

You are also correct in identifying that most SLA templates are not really business service SLA templates, and make more sense against infrastructure management deliverables.

So really there are two things you need to begin working on:

1) The involvement of the business units (customers) in drafting the SLA structure. Obviously it won't look good if you go with a blank sheet of paper, but you do need to negotiate the transaltion of business deliverables to measurable outcomes at the infrastrucutre and IT proces level. IT can't do this alone. This is one reason why availability is one of the key commitments in most SLAs - it is usually possible to identify when problems withe the supporting infrastructure renders a business service unavailable.

2) Acknolwedge that service definitions and configuration management (particularly the CMDB) can't be isolated information structures, they need to be integrated so you can map concrete preformance back to business performance - and so be able to formulate reportable and business oriented SLAs.

If you are not positioned to achieve this, then systems based SLAs are better than nothing. Get something in place, and then use the disconnects to address maturity issues in supporting processes. Set expectations clearly, and indicate that what you are doing matches where your organisation is at, and pitch it as a contribution to the long haul objectives. That is as a 'first step' measure.

Good luck
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query
Itiler


Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 41
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:42 am    Post subject: Re: SLA question Reply with quote

Lola wrote:
I am a Service Delivery Manager and have been tasked with writing a lot of SLA's.
My question is, I knwo the SLA's are suppose to be at the service level, but my group keeps going back to the application level.
Under ITIL, the business facing SLA's should be at the Service Level....but where in the SLA's are the individual applications addressed?
I cant even think of an example to give...but I'm trying to figure out how I can write these SLAs and include the support requirements for applications. I also have some applications that cross over multiple services...do they need to be outlined in more than one Service SLA?

We have some blank SLA templates to use, but I have not seen an actual one written at a service level that would show how this would be done.
Appreciate any guidance!


Hi Lola

SLAs are based on service and not applications. Look at applications as part of the service being provided, how does the impact of application downtime impact the downtime of the service? How quickly can the service be restored? (I.e. application be fixed)

If you have applications that cross over multiple services then summarize them as per service in your SLA.

E.g. Email Service and Internet Service, the Proxy Server Application may be one cog for both services. How does the downtime of Proxy Server Impact both? What will be the downtime level of both services if this one application is unavailable?
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Fabien
Senior Itiler


Joined: Sep 27, 2005
Posts: 207

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The translation of business-facing services into IT systems requirements is done using an OLA. Reporting correctly on a business-facing service performance is still a major challenge though as I personally don't know of any systems that can automate that...
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Fabien Papleux

Accenture
Technology Consulting | Service Excellence
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query
Itiler


Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 41
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fabien wrote:
The translation of business-facing services into IT systems requirements is done using an OLA.


OLA is the agreement between internal IT Function groups (E.g. Agreement between IT Application Development group and IT Operations group on the level of restoration time required to fix a problem). In other words, if IT department is only made of one function (E.g. IT Operations then OLAs are not required at all).
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