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The outsourcer has a responsibility to deliver a quality product and they should be viewed as an integral part of the overall corporate organization.
Since they are not an actual part of the organization (may be aligned on processing but not on your ultimate business goals) they need to be monitored in a co-ownership manner to ensure that the objectives of the outsourcing process and the terms of contract are being met.
Most people who draft SLAs are not the individuals who will most likely be living with the monitoring and enforcement of the services.
An SLA should work as a living document, allowing the parties who inherit the deal to work together for the benefit of both companies.
People often approach an SLA with the idea of how to put the provider in the position of monitoring themselves.
While that may not be the initial intent of the outcome, here is why it often happens.
That is not the tone you want to set when you are entrusting your business processing to an outside company.
If you have never written one or have only done one or two and are now facing a major project perhaps you should get some advice or assistance from an outside consultant who does this type of work for a living.
It should detail the customer expectations, measurement of the service, calculation of the metrics and outline the process for correction and reporting and provide for remedies in the event of failure.
An SLA may be external or internal but the key is to get all your information up front, including your business requirements so you can draft a document that will reflect the expectations of the customer. The amount of effort you expend on an SLA is dependent on the complexity and details of the SLA.
By the time IT or strategic sourcing negotiators get involved the project has become urgent and if you are under the gun, the provider has the advantage.
The SLA is often the last element negotiated and is often short changed in the process.