Charting a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) is an important part of establishing quality standards for use of Information Technology in business processes. Realistically, the IT department set standards to acquire or provide basic services at or above the levels defined in the SLA. You need to gauge the importance of the business process and its components to your customers and users. With this understanding you need to make certain that services are maintained at or above the expected level, not simply by setting expectations but by taking measures to ensure delivery.
Things can go wrong. That means that in order to meet or exceed the expectations in your SLA, your going to need error recovery and alternate business processes established for exceptions management. Don't simply copy the service delivery procedures of another IT department, design the service delivery processes to match your resources and requirements. Make certain there is an even-handed way to handle incoming service tickets, projects and problems in a way that applies priority and urgency appropriately.
To make an SLA work effectively, make sure there is a system of rewards in place for good service as well as incentives for technical and non-technical parties to work together. Utilize multi-channel communications and preferred methods for communicating service issues. Solve problems digitally and automatically whenever possible. Use your information technology staff as service ombudsman to make certain that issues that arise receive the proper attention and in a timely manner. Make certain they have whatever they need in order to support delivery on your SLAs.