The client was currently in an unsatisfactory relationship with an outsourcing vendor covering a variety of client server support services worldwide. The situation had grown out of an ambiguous agreement resulting in an emotional impasse between the client and vendor with very few hard facts regarding the client’s expectations or the vendor’s performance. The client was in the process of developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for these services, which would be issued to the current vendor as well as others.
In an effort to place the new client/vendor relationship on a factual basis for the benefit of both parties, the client required a business related Service Level Agreement (SLA) that would provide an objective “report card” to evaluate the selected vendor’s fulfillment of the contract. This would also provide the vendor with a clear description of the client’s expectations.
The first steps were to determine what was critical to the business as a basis for developing specific measurement criteria. Based on a thorough analysis of historical documentation along with interviews of both business and IT personnel, the overall business goals and objectives were defined along with the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) required for their achievement. Three levels of metrics (Performance Credit, Strategic and Operational) were then established that would measure the attainment of these CSFs. Metrics were defined in detail showing behavioral objectives, data elements and data collection processes along with analysis and reporting requirements. This SLA was refined in collaboration with the client and selected vendor to clearly define expectations and deliverables as well as to achieve buy-in by both parties.
Successful Business Solutions
The client received:
- Defined business related goals for IT services
- Critical IT Success Factors required for achievement of each of the Goals
- List of metrics to measure the achievement of each of the Critical Success Factors
- Identification of key processes related to the metrics
- Detailed specifications for each of the metrics
- Reporting format for presentation of Strategic Metrics