The team lead or a designee needs to make input documents available to the participants prior to the meeting. It is expected that each participant will review the SLA Review input documents, mentioned in the following section, prior to the meeting.

Team Lead Confirms Inputs

As with any operations management review (OMR) meeting, there are several inputs to the SLA Review, some of which are essential to the review procedure; others may be optional but useful under certain circumstances. There are also likely to be typical deliverables from the SLA Review and deliverables dependent on the contents and actions in the review.

Required Inputs

  • SLA document - The SLA document should be brought to the SLA Review in order to be used as a reference for any discussion of performance against SLA objectives. In addition, the SLA document should be referenced in case of changes to the SLA or the objectives, priorities, costs, and contacts. For assistance in documenting and formalizing the agreement, see the MOF Service Level Management Service Management Function guide, available at the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF).
  • SLA performance reports - The SLA reports, showing performance against the SLA, should be available at the SLA Review. If this is a virtual meeting, the reports should be provided by e-mail or posted to a shared folder or intranet for discussion. The reports may be distributed in advance of the review in order to give an opportunity to consider the metrics and to form thoughts on the performance against targets for the service.
  • Forward schedule of change or change calendar - To discuss the service and expectations for the forthcoming period, in addition to any review of changes implemented in the previous period, the record in this format is an essential input to the review meeting.
  • Actions and minutes from previous SLA Review - The IT and business representatives and any other representatives who have been involved in completing actions should provide an update for any actions since the previous review. The minutes from the previous review should be available at the review meeting for discussion and for signoff by the IT and business representative. For online examples of templates containing OMR action items and minutes, see Operations Templates. These templates can be adapted and used as pertinent to the SLA Review.

Optional Inputs

  • Availability records - If there are availability records in addition to those used or needed in the SLA reports, they may be useful at the SLA Review to review the issues in the previous period and also to consider future requirements.
  • Any extra supporting documentation - There are different types of supporting documentation that can be valuable at the SLA Review. For example, if there is a change to an external underpinning contract (UC) that may affect the SLA, the documentation for the contract should be available at the SLA Review. This contract can be used for discussion of the costs and benefits of changing the SLA or the contract.

In a case where an SLA breach has occurred in the previous period, supporting documents can be brought to the review to explain the technical reasons behind the breach or the lost value to other business operations as a result of the breach.

Participants Complete Pre-Work Templates

All team members take their respective pre-work template and complete it for the applicable functional area. In other words, they annotate the sheet with issues, kudos, documented data to support or refute claims being made or actions to be taken, and suggested action items.

Each team member completes the pre-work templates considering the following:

  • Looking back at the planning for service level attainment:
    • Is the service level actual data that is being reported valid? Are the monitoring mechanisms adequate?
    • Has service level achievement matched service level agreement? If not, why not?
    • If service levels have not been met, what gaps in planning were the cause (for example, planning of service levels, planning of underpinning service delivery mechanisms, inaccurate assumptions about the needs and state of the IT and business environments)?
    • Was the customer satisfied with the service level? If not, why?
  • Looking forward to identify any adjustments to service levels and underpinning delivery mechanisms that are required in light of changing business and IT environments and needs:
    • Have customer and user expectations, business needs, or priorities changed since the last adjustment to service levels?
    • Are these the right service level metrics? Are there other metrics that should be monitored, either instead of or in addition to these?
    • Are current service levels valid? In other words, if the service level metric hasn't been consistently met, does it matter? Given what has been learned about the service solution in operation, are expectations reasonable from a cost/benefit perspective? Should the service level be lowered? Are there other issues, not in the current SLA, that more reliably track what the business needs from the service?
    • Has the IT operations environment changed substantially since the last adjustment to service levels?
    • What improvement alternatives exist? Possible improvement alternatives include adjusting the service, service levels, service delivery mechanism, and the business or IT environments.
    • What potential risks might jeopardize service level achievement? How can they be mitigated?

An individual team member's consideration of the preceding points will be from the perspective of his or her functional area. No single team member will have a complete perspective on the overall validity, necessity, and potential improvement of a particular SLA. Some may have little, if any, perspective on some SLAs. (For example, Support may have little perspective on SLAs for availability or capacity.) Group discussion in the review meeting will build this complete perspective and help identify means of providing the right services at the right times for the right cost.