A service level agreement (SLA), which is an important aspect of business consulting, is used often between a firm’s internal operations as well as its customers. It defines what each party needs to reach its goals and provides a mechanism for reporting on those goals and any issues that arise.
SLAs provide protection for both the service user and provider by setting standards, targets, and consequences when these expectations are not met. They also allow for the creation of key performance indicators that can help a business identify areas that are not on track to meet its strategic objectives.
The SLA should define all the services that are included in a contract, with details on turnaround times and any exclusions. The contract should include a list that specifies the metrics used to measure service provider performance.
Metrics must be easy to collect and reflect only those factors that the service provider can reasonably control. They important link should also be set to a reasonable baseline, so that they can be refined over time.
KPIs measure how a business performs in relation to the primary goals. It can help determine whether the business is veering away from its course, a common problem with small businesses.