What is a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) defines what the client expects from the supplier in terms of service quality. These agreements outline the metrics by which the quality of service is measured, as well as the corrective measures offered if the agreed-to service levels are not met.
What Does an SLA Include?
Not only should the SLA describe the services to be provided and the service levels expected, but it should also state how the services are measured, who is responsible for what, what remedies or penalties are imposed for breaches, and how metrics are added or removed.
The metrics should be designed in a way that does not reward either party for bad behaviour. For instance, if a service level is breached due to the client failing to provide information on time, no penalties should be imposed on the supplier.
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