Essential Consultancy Services




Service Requirements

Service Descriptions

Absolutely key to maintaining a well managed service, is a comprehensive statement covering all functional aspects of the service delivered, including customised processing, complaints handling etc.  This ensures both parties understand the detail included and excluded from the supply, pre-empting disputes.  It is also the foundation upon which cost reduction initiatives can proceed, analysing costs and benefits from the less standard service features.  Service descriptions are statements of 'what' and although they may be abstracted from process descriptions, they are different!

Service Level Requirements

Service level requirements define the standards to which services need to be delivered.  Typically these are based on 'non-functional' requirements (e.g. performance, availability, capacity etc.) defined in the service description.    Analysis of the demand (client) side should consider the benefits or impacts on the business of higher or lower service levels (e.g. performance), and be able to project likely demand for each functional area of service.   Service level requirements will often have dramatic effects on the service pricing and should not be arbitrarily set.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

A negotiation between a client, based on their service level requirements, and a supplier, based on capabilities and costs for delivering service to particular levels, will be a precursor to establishing a workable SLA.    Both parties need to recognise that the agreement needs to evolve; improvements to service specification, as well as to the efficiency of its delivery will be needed.  Penalty and/or incentive schemes (service credit & debit schemes) will often help both organisations concentrate on vital issues, provided that these schemes are aligned to genuine business impacts/benefits.  The SLA  should not constrain 'how' a service is delivered where this is not necessary.  An open analysis of the cost model upon which the service pricing is based will considerably improve the chances of service improvements being made for shared benefit, as well as reducing negotiation time.



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