Most independent consultants understand the need for service level agreement (SLA) when working with new partners and clients. But creating one may be challenging, especially if you don't know what to include in the service level agreement template Doc. In this article, we'll share some SLA best practices, tips on writing, or selecting an SLA plus templates that you can download.
A service level agreement (SLA) is a document that identifies the service required and also provides the metrics by which the service is measured. The SLA defines a business relationship between two or more parties and also sets the clause in dealing with remedies or penalties should include the agreed-on service level short of its desired metrics.
Usually, a service level agreement document is created together by the parties involved- say a vendor and a client. However, it would help if you have a service level agreement template Doc as a service provider that you can always edit together with a new client.
You don’t wait until there is a contract before swinging into crafting one from scratch. Service level agreements vary between industries, services, and vendors. Independent consultants and service providers should pay attention to the details of service before crafting or customizing their service level agreement template doc.
Writing a service level agreement template Doc
Remember, we said service level agreements are flexible and unique to industries, services, and vendors. SLAs have a wide scope and are inherently broad. The overall goal of an SLA is to protect yourself, client, and business. There are no hard and fast rules regarding the content of the document.
However, there are essential elements that should be included in a service level agreement template Doc. These are:
1. Declaration of parties in the service level agreement template Doc
Service and customer-based service level agreements usually involve two parties; the supplier or service provider and the customer receiving the product or service. But for multi-level service SLAs, various departments may be involved, parties or organizations. Irrespective of the kind of SLA, the first thing in crafting one is the declaration of the parties-names, contact address, email address, and phone number.
2. Purpose of the SLA in the service level agreement template Doc
Next is the purpose of the SLA. In this section, define the goal, objective, and purpose of the business relationship. A statement of purpose should appear succinct and right off the bat.
3. Service in the service level agreement template Doc
How do we refer to a document as an SLA without including the list of services to be rendered? Your service level agreement template Doc should list the exact service you are meant to supply your client.
4. Strategy & timeline in the service level agreement template Doc
It is not enough listing the services; you should include the strategy you'd employ to achieve the goals of the project.
5. Timeline in the service level agreement template Doc
Give brief information about your service timeline. Let the client know the time you planned doing what and to what level of quality? It also includes the overall project duration in this section.
6. Responsibilities of parties in the service level agreement template Doc
Besides listing the services, it would be best if you acknowledge the responsibilities of parties in the service level agreement template Doc by writing. The client's responsibility has to do with compensation, liabilities, and provision of information to work. That of a consultant deals with service delivery.
7. Post-agreement management rules & termination in the service level agreement template Doc
All parties are meant to respect the agreement after approval. The document should specify how reviews are done to the service level agreement template Doc and what happens if a party decides to withdraw from the SLA prematurely. It should state the penalty for termination as well as the agreed method of dispute resolution.
8. Terms and conditions in the service level agreement template Doc
This section usually contains other terms of work that have not been captured in other parts of the SLA. It may include the preferred method of payment, payment window, among others.