An SLA manager is responsible for delivering all service level agreements (SLAs) for information technology services across an organization, following standard procedures. This usually involves developing, introducing and then managing service management best practices, while at the same time communicating with both the organization's internal departments and its clients to uphold service level agreements.
In general, the SLA manager should collaborate with the company's senior management and stakeholders in establishing service level agreements that correspond with the company's business concept and also that maintain the integrity of the organization. It may sometimes be necessary for the SLA manager to negotiate terms of SLAs with external parties such as consultants and freelancers.
In terms of formal education, the applicant for the role of an SLA manager should have a university degree or college diploma in business administration or information technology. Furthermore, the applicant should have excellent project management abilities, proficiency in computing,and direct working experience in service level management or senior project management. Personally, the aspiring SLA manager should possess strong oral and written communication skills, strong people and team-building skills and the capability to exercise discretion.
As of July 6th 2010, the average annual salary for a service level agreement manager in the USA is approximately $72,000, although this can depend substantially on the size of the company, its market share and it's geographic location. Most companies offer health insurance and/or retirement pension benefits, which can be negated against the annual salary.
As this is a management position, the applicant should be advancing from a lower office position within a company, or moving laterally to another company from a previous service level management or senior project management role. An effective way of securing the position is developing a good working relationship with a senior executive in the company or an existing service level agreement manager, and replacing them when they either advance, change jobs or retire.
As this is an office position, the SLA manager should be comfortable with sitting for long periods of time, have the dexterity to operate devices like a mouse and keyboard, and be physically able to participate in meetings and presentations. The SLA manager should expect to occasionally have to work overtime although with some clever delegation, this can be avoided. The SLA manager may also need to travel to meet off-site contractors or attend meetings with external business partners.
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