As businesses seek to maximize productivity and efficiency, more and more are adopting shared service models. Shared service centers provide centralized support services, including HR, IT, and finance, to multiple business units. However, to ensure that these shared services provide value to all stakeholders, a Service Level Agreement (SLA) must be established.

An SLA is a contract between the service provider (in this case, the shared service center) and the service recipient (the business unit). It outlines the services provided, the service levels expected, and the responsibilities of each party. An SLA ensures that everyone is on the same page and provides a framework for measuring and improving performance.

Creating an SLA can be a daunting task, especially for organizations that are new to shared service models. Fortunately, there are templates available that can make the process easier. Here are some key elements that should be included in a service level agreement template for shared services.

1. Service description: The SLA should clearly define the services that the shared service center will provide. This can include HR, IT, finance, and other support services.

2. Service levels: The SLA should specify the level of service that will be provided in terms of turnaround times, response times, and availability. For example, if the shared service center is providing IT support, the SLA might specify that all support requests will be responded to within 24 hours.

3. Reporting: The SLA should include a reporting mechanism that measures the shared service center’s performance against the agreed-upon service levels. This can include regular reporting on metrics such as service level achievement, customer satisfaction, and response times.

4. Escalation procedure: The SLA should outline the escalation procedure to be followed in the event that the shared service center fails to meet the agreed-upon service levels. This can include a process for escalating the issue to a higher level of management or an external arbitrator.

5. Responsibilities: The SLA should clearly define the responsibilities of both the shared service center and the service recipient. This can include obligations to provide information, to adhere to certain procedures, and to take corrective action if service levels are not met.

Creating an SLA can take time and effort, but it’s an essential step in ensuring that shared services provide value to all stakeholders. By using a service level agreement template for shared services, organizations can streamline the process and focus on delivering the services that their business units need to succeed.