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Last edited 23 Oct 2020
Service level specification SLS
SLAs can be prepared by an organisation when they require services from an in-house team or department, or they may be used for the outsourcing of services, such as facilities management services, for example; property management, inspection and repair services, planned and responsive maintenance, cleaning, portering, security, ICT services, and so on.
The SLS quantifies the minimum acceptable (technical) standard of service that is required. Performance measurement in terms of the standards laid out in the SLS can be considered in terms of critical success factors and key performance indicators. For example, the SLS in a cleaning contract could describe the maximum amount of dust or debris which is permitted to remain following cleaning, as part of the overall standard of cleaning to be achieved.
The SLS should set out:
- Internal standards relating to policy.
- External standards including; statutory requirements, industry an international standards, manufacturers’ recommendations and so on.
- The required technical standards and the procedures that must be complied with.
- Quality and performance targets.
- Definition of terms.
- Scope of areas, items and services covered by specification.
- Legal/regulatory requirements.
- Manufacturers' recommendations.
- Industry accepted best practice.
- Corporate/departmental requirements.
- Established standards/codes.
- Procedures for each area, item and service.
- Frequency of procedures for each area, item and service.
If organisations are defining and specifying their requirements for the first time, there can be a risk that they incur higher costs as a result of over-specifying the service (compared with wha was in place previously). Value management can help safeguard against this by ensuring that only services that are genuinely of value are specified.
SLSs should not be regarded as fixed but are capable of being continuously improved as circumstances and requirements change and experience allows changes in specification to yield better results and improved value. Clear and open communication with the service provider is essential to optimise this process.
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