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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Role of a Service Level Manager

The Service Level Manager is the person responsible for directing and managing the SLM process. The Service Level Manager will have responsibility for the SLA framework and structure and for the overall relationship between the IT service provider and its customers and with the business. The Service Level Manager will have overall responsibility and accountability for the success of the Service Level Management (SLM) process.

In a smaller organization, the Service Level Manager is likely to be involved personally in developing, negotiating, agreeing and reporting on individual SLAs, in negotiating OLAs and liaising with Supplier Management in relation to UCs in order to ensure that these are aligned with the agreed service level targets. In a larger organization, some of these roles will be delegated to Service Level Management staff.

The Service Owner is a critical SLM role with responsibility for ensuring that a specified service or group of services are delivered to the agreed service levels and has responsibility for Continual Service Improvement and managing change for his or her services. The Service Owner represents the service within the organization, ensuring the information in the Service Catalogue is correct and acts as an escalation point for major Incidents and a focus for service improvement. The Service Owner has a role in defining service targets, will participate in service review meetings with the business and with IT and takes part in SLA and OLA negotiations.

Although not part of SLM, it is important to mention Business Relationship Management (BRM) in this context. In common with SLM, BRM is responsible for maintaining an effective relationship with the business and business managers. BRM is tasked to ensure the IT service provider is meeting the overall needs of the business and consequently has a role in Service Portfolio Management. For SLM, meeting service level targets is a measure of how well the IT service provider meets the needs of the business.
Given that there is so much common ground between SLM and BRM, these roles are often combined to bring the main streams of relationship management together.

The Reporting Analyst is a Continual Service Improvement (CSI) role that is not strictly part of SLM. Nevertheless, the Reporting Analyst, who reviews and analyses data to assess end-to-end service achievement, identifying positive or negative trends, will often work closely with Service Level Manager.

Prev: Metrics used in Service Level Management

Next: Relationships between SLM and other Processes

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