Mastering Service Level Agreements


Service level agreements (SLA) are fundamental to both providers and recipients of services; they define the terms of engagement and highlight the rules that govern the relationship. They are in essence, the foundation of any company’s business interactions and if structured properly, will allow a company to capture the benefits of the relationship as well as the key expectations of the business interaction. Due to the fact that your business is in a constant state of change it is imperative for your Company to allow for the capacity to revise or add metrics in SLAs. The SLA should therefore be considered as a living document and the need to revise, update and expand your drafts arise more often than you may think.

SLAs need to strive to make an accurate reflection of the current service requirements of the relationship, while providing the mechanism to adapt along with your organisation and your industry.

A re-occurring misconception includes the fact that the SLA process simply consist of drafting and designing an agreement for the providing or receiving of services, however, it is more in depth than that. Once the agreement has been drawn up, one has to continuously monitor whether the delivery of services is in fact being carried out as per the agreement, and this forms the post drafting stage whereby checks are put in place to monitor and maintain the correct implementation of the services in the agreement.

As a manager, the responsibility rests with you to ensure your organisation effectively negotiations, manages, and monitors SLAs in key areas of the business.

Therefore, this training aims to provide attendees with practical intelligence on mastering the art of executing successful SLAs. The training is aimed at bringing you a new perspective of effectively drafting and managing your SLAs, this two day intensive and interactive training will bring to you a unique outlook on service level agreements and their management.


Key Learning Objectives

  • Understand the difference between a contract and SLA and how to optimise their relationship
  • Learn how to design and write an SLA that delivers quality of service from third party providers and encourages
  • performance, rewards service quality, and rectifies non-compliance
  • Gain knowledge on aligning your SLA with the objectives of the business
  • Build a solid, comprehensive, business framework for establishing a SLA
  • Gain fundamental grounding principles of contract law and strategic value of Service Level Agreements
  • Understand the Key elements of the contracting process
  • Know when in the contract lifecycle to prepare a SLA to maximise bargaining power
  • Encompassing KPIs into your SLA documents
  • Determining whether the deliverables of the SLA can be linked to your KPI’s
  • Gain knowledge on measuring SLA performance
  • Strengthening the management of the transition of services when terminating a SLA
  • Have a solid understanding of the key issues and appropriate clauses required
  • Gain competence to set up the criteria to monitor, measure and manage performance under the SLA
  • Gain a better understanding of the range of methodologies available to close out a contract and the ability to identify
  • when the close out strategy should be determined and incorporated in the agreement
  • Understand contractual Risk Management
  • Learn effective negotiations in order for both parties to mutually benefit from the agreement

Who Should attend

This course is designed for both the novice and the experienced managers involved in ensuring effective service delivery, whether provided by external suppliers or internal support functions.

  • SLA Managers/Contract Managers/Administrators
  • Supply Chain Managers/Group Supply Chain
  • CIOs
  • Regional Managers/General Managers
  • HR Managers/Senior admin Officers
  • Computer Centre and Help Desk Managers
  • Sales Managers/Outsourcing Managers
  • Customer Service Managers
  • Buyers/Procurement Managers
  • Vendor Managers
  • Enterprise Risk Managers
  • Service Delivery Managers/User Support Managers
  • Legal Managers/Advisors/Company Secretaries
  • Facility Managers/Commercial Managers
  • Maintenance Managers and Project Managers


Day 1     Understanding the need for SLA/Service Contracts    

Session 1             Overview of the Key Components of the SLA

  • The Main Elements of a Good SLA
  • What SLAs are and What SLAs are not
  • Difference between a SLA and a Contract

Session 2             SLA and Service Contract

  • Internal SLAs
  • Overview of Internal Service Level Agreements
  • External SLAs
  • Why do we need SLAs/Service Contracts?

Session 3             Advantages and Disadvantages of SLAs

  • The benefits of a SLA are many
  • Service level management: Why it fails
  • Disadvantages of a SLA
  • When not to use a SLA

Session 4             Strategic considerations for SLAs – things to consider before you kick off the SLA

  • Approaches to rolling out and determining which is best for you
  • The SLA’s role in governing documents – where it fits in the scheme of things
  • Key objectives of SLAs to be successful
  • Service Specifications


Day 2     Writing or Constructing the SLA

Session 1             Role and Responsibilities for Constructing the SLA

  • Scope of the SLA Manager role
  • Activities in Creating a SLA

Session 2             Structure of the SLA

  • What are the Main Components of a SLA?
  • Typical template
  • Developing the optimal structure for SLAs for the organisation

Session 3             Defining the Scope of Work

  • Identifying and highlighting roles and responsibilities within the draft of the SLA
  • Understanding how internal and external factors impact upon the service level agreement
  • Identify the stakeholders – specifying who they are and what is important to them
  • Distinguishing who is responsible for what – how to develop a responsibility matrix

Session 4             Risk Management

  • Avoiding the Common Pitfalls in implementing SLAs
  • Rights and Obligations under a Contract
  • Contractual Risk Management
  • Measuring Performance Value by Using Parameters to Assess the Level of Service Being Provided