Service Level Agreements:

Planning, Writing & Managing Quality SLAs

Code : CM28
Date : 20 – 21 October 2013
Venue : Dubai
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The Course

Companies are increasingly dependent on long-term partnership arrangements with external suppliers of services, in order to achieve their strategic goals. The Service Level Agreement, or ‘SLA’ as it is often known, is the mechanism that sets out how such a partnership will function. Created as a legal contract between supplier and customer, or as a formal agreement between one internal supplier department that provides corporate services to its internal client, the SLA establishes the measurement methodology that should drive the quality of service performance.

This programme will address what is involved in planning, writing and managing service level agreements, including their strengths and weaknesses. It will look at internal SLAs as well as SLAs with external contractors.

The Goals

By the end of the course, the delegate will be able to:

  • Plan and Draft a range of service level agreements
  • Articulate how quality SLAs should be included within their Procurement processes
  • Negotiate service level agreements with internal and external suppliers
  • Document appropriate quality outcomes from service contracts
  • Evaluate the likely results from alternative service performance frameworks

The Delegates

  • Contract Administrators, Contract Professionals and Project Coordinators
  • Specifiers, Buyers, Purchasing Professionals and Procurement Officers
  • Service Delivery professionals
  • Quality Assurance professionals
  • IT Professionals
  • Anyone involved in the planning, evaluation, preparation and management of tenders and awards for service contracts or internally-supplied corporate services

The Process

The facilitator will deploy a full range of dynamic and interactive training methods, including practical exercises, role plays, case studies, question and answer sessions and discussion groups. Each topic will be underpinned by a presentation that highlights key issues to focus on. The learning experience will be supported by a reference manual which supplies the detailed knowledge infrastructure behind the subject matter. Participants will make presentations and receive personal feedback on their performance. Discussions will cover current practices and explore how new concepts can be applied back in the office.

The Benefits

Participants who attend will:

  • Learn the strengths and limitations of SLAs as service quality performance tools
  • Acquire the skills to manage service performance on behalf of their organisations
  • Discover how to ensure internal departments deliver better quality corporate services
  • Gain knowledge of new strategies to encourage contractors to deliver quality results
  • Benefit from practicing how to draft quality measures of performance

The Results

Organisations will achieve the following outcomes from having their staff attend this programme:

  • The procurement and contract management teams will be strengthened through the addition of new quality improvement tools and techniques to manage suppliers.
  • Departmental managers will be better able to manage internal suppliers more effectively.
  • The organisation will be able to construct more effective service level agreements.
  • The process of managing SLA variations will be facilitated as a result of the new skills and abilities which their delegates will have acquired.
  • The organisation will be better able to manage business risks arising from service delivery.

The Programme Content

Day 1

Principles and functions of Service Level Agreements

  • The need to measure  quality of performance
  • Why, when and how can SLAs help to achieve quality
  • Key objectives
  • SLAs: Contracts or Contract substitutes?
  • Introducing SLAs for services bought in from contractors
  • Use of corporate SLAs between in-house departments
  • Comparing the Relationships between the parties
  • Case studies and exercises

Management by Measurement – Key elements of a Service Level Agreement

  • What services are being measured?
  • Typical quality measures
  • Managing, measuring and reporting service performance
  • Duties of the customer
  • Warranties and remedies
  • Risk sharing and SLAs
  • Managing problems
  • SLA Governance Frameworks
  • Termination of the agreement
  • Case studies and exercises

Drafting your Service Level Agreement

  • Drafting principles
  • A model structure for the SLA
  • Essential elements of a quality SLA
  • Using appropriate measurement language
  • Carrots or sticks to encourage achievement
  • SLA checklists
  • Drafting exercises

Day 2

Managing the in-life SLA

  • Review processes
  • Using escalation to manage quality performance
  • Keeping the SLA relevant
  • Managing changes to the SLA
  • Negotiation techniques to manage the variation
  • Customer intervention options with an underperforming contractor
  • Learning and applying lessons for the next SLA
  • Case studies and exercises

A Balanced scorecard approach to SLA management

  • Origins of the scorecard approach
  • Aligning the SLA with the corporate strategy
  • Balancing the needs of stakeholders
  • Planning and Constructing a SLA scorecard
  • Key Performance indicators to support the SLA
  • Business process quality improvement
  • Programme summary

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