The ITIL Service Level Management process will help negotiate, define, agree to monitor and report on the service levels of customers. It works in conjunction with other processes, for instance Capacity Management and Availability Management to ensure that services are provided at a level that is acceptable in quality.

In the ideal scenario, the service-level management process begins by determining when and what services are needed. This should be conducted in conjunction with the IT team and the business. This will assist in setting realistic goals that can be achieved and are relevant to the business. Teams should also work together on determining how the targets are being measured and the impact that this has on customer experience.

When these goals are established, the SLM process should start by creating agreements with customers as well as specifying the service level requirements. This includes describing the services that will be provided (including what’s included and what’s not in order to leave no room for misinterpretation) as well as defining escalation processes and responsibilities, and setting performance metrics. This should be documented in an SLA.

The SLM process must also include plans to monitor and report on service level compliance. The plan will be reviewed frequently to determine whether or not the goals are being achieved. Automated alerting is crucial. SLM should also be coordinated across teams so that everyone is aware of the services they are accountable for and that these services are delivering the agreed-upon service level.