An operational-level agreement, or OLA, is a vital component of IT service management. It is an agreement between an IT service provider and another part of the same organization, defining the level of service required and the responsibilities of each party to deliver it.
An OLA usually covers a specific service, technology, or process, and typically outlines the agreed-upon service-level targets, performance metrics, and procedures for managing and resolving any service-related issues. It is specifically designed to support the service-level agreements (SLAs) that an IT provider has in place with its customers.
An OLA is essential for ensuring effective coordination and communication between different parts of an organization, particularly when multiple teams are involved in delivering an IT service. It helps ensure that each team knows its specific responsibilities and has a clear understanding of the outcomes that are expected.
An OLA typically includes the following components:
1. Service description: This outlines the service, technology, or process that is being covered by the OLA. It should be specific enough to ensure clarity around what is being delivered.
2. Roles and responsibilities: This section outlines the responsibilities of each party involved in delivering the service, including any specific actions that need to be taken.
3. Service-level targets: This section outlines the specific targets that need to be met, including response times, availability targets, and resolution times.
4. Performance metrics: This section outlines the specific performance metrics that will be used to measure the success of the service, such as uptime and availability.
5. Procedures: This section outlines the procedures that need to be followed in order to manage and resolve issues related to the service.
In summary, an OLA is an agreement that outlines the service-level targets, performance metrics, and procedures for delivering an IT service. It is an essential tool for ensuring effective coordination and communication within an organization and is specifically designed to support the SLAs in place with customers.