Business Contingency Preparedness

Service Level Agreement Checklist

Service level clarity and metrics can insure the completeness of your Service Level Agreement (SLA) objectives. Leave nothing to chance or adverse interpretation. The supplier must know the “what and how” and clients expect no less. This checklist for SLA's may also be included in contracts, letters of understanding and mutual aid agreements. Include the following checklist items in all agreements to ensure clarity and reap big benefits.

  • The service provider and client are clearly defined including specific primary and secondary contacts.
  • Performance metrics and method(s) of measurement are stated clearly to insure compliance.
  • Regularity and format of compliance reporting are clearly defined.
  • The problem escalation notification process and conditions are clearly defined and validated.
  • SLA terms should include, but not be limited to:
    • Start and end date
    • Dependencies
    • Assumptions
    • Non-performance penalties
    • Special cost issues
    • Deliverables
    • Special requirements (security clearances, delivery issues, etc.)
    • Extension and renewal terms
    • Sub-contracting or company “buy-out” terms and any other item which may have impact on the service expectations of the agreement.
    • Key participant's “sign-offs” are included
    • Referenced documents are noted appropriately
  • Require Continuity Plans and preparedness for suppliers and clients and include the metrics in the SLA or agreement.

Wherever two are gathered together as provider and client, an understanding of expectations MUST be defined. The best way to guarantee what expectations are on both sides of a service is to "put it in writing" then audit the on-going deliverables;. Clarity and sufficient details are also important.

Let us know any comments you have on this critical subject area, how you manage your interfaces internally and externally, and if we can publish your comments on our website for others to learn from. The best SLA or contract is objective, applicable, understandable, agreed upon, enforced and current.