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Accountable and Responsible

I was recently asked about the accountabilities and responsibilities of the Service Level Manager and Service Owner. 

Let’s start with Service Level Manager.
  • Responsible for gathering Service Level Requirements from the customer.
  • Responsible for negotiating and maintaining SLAs with the customer.
  • Responsible for developing and maintaining OLAs.
  • Responsible for understanding underpinning contracts as they relate to OLAs and SLAs.
  • Responsible for producing, reviewing and evaluating reports on service performance and achievements on a regular basis. Also for conducting meeting with the customer to discuss service performance and improvements.
  • Responsible for initiating appropriate actions to improve service levels (SIP).
  • Conducting yearly reviews of SLAs, OLAs and underpinning contracts.
The success of SLM is very dependent on the quality of the Service Portfolio and the Service Catalogue and their contents. They provide the necessary information on the services to be managed within the SLM process.

Service owner:
  • Accountable for a specific service within an organization regardless of where the underpinning technology, components or processes reside.
  • Provide input for service attributes such as performance, availability, etc.
  • Represents the service to the entire organization.
  • Point of escalation for major incidents.
  • Represents service in Change Advisory Board meetings
  • Works with CSI Manager to identify and prioritize service improvements
  • Responsible for ensuring that the service entry in the Service Catalogue is accurate and maintained.
The ITIL Continual Service Improvement book pg 135/136 Table 6.8 shows the primary and secondary responsibilities for both the Service Level Manager and the Service Owner. This might be a good place for you start defining work flow for each role. In the same book on page 138 is a sample process flow for change management. You might apply this model to the two roles you have added to your organization. Additionally on page 139 Table 6.10 is a sample RACI Matrix.


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