18 March 2008 : Service Level Agreements

CLW's Technical Manager Mark Adams gave a talk focusing on how SLAs can be used to describe and help manage IT processes. He spoke from the perspective of an internal IT department, and attempted to describe and quantify its service to management. The talk covered some of the theoretical aspects of SLAs, and then went on to discuss aspects such as processes, responsibility, measurement and dashboards.

The discussion began with a brief explanation of what an SLA is from an ITIL perspective, and also touched on what ITIL is. SLAs are mechanisms for meeting targets, typically aligning with ITIL aspects, deemed as valuable to a company. ITIL has 5 key volumes relating to IT services in the following areas:

  • strategy
  • design
  • transition
  • operation
  • improvement

SLAs are mechanisms for meeting targets, typically aligning with ITIL aspects, deemed as valuable to a company. Mark discussed ways of measuring and meeting targets and presenting this data to management.

Mark discussed ways of measuring and meeting targets and presenting this data to management. He also described CLW's use of CLWManage to log all issues to provide statistics with a view to meeting soft (non-contractual) SLA targets and to rate performance. Attendees remarked that the use of a recording tool such as CLWManage appeared to be a useful way of helping management "understand what the IT function does".

Mark also discussed how CLWManage could be used to identify long-term issues (the difference between an incident and an issue in ITIL terms) when you have statistics about how long-issues take to close, and whether they reappear.

Attendees:
  • Owen Oldfield, Gensler
  • Ben Stratton-Woodward, Exposure
  • Hugh Fernando, Wilkinson Eyre Architects
  • Darren Carroll, Jestico Whiles
  • Rory Campbell-Lange, Mark Adams and Tim Whiteley Campbell-Lange Workshop