An operational-level agreement (OLA) defines the interdependent relationships among the internal support groups of an organization working to support a service-level agreement (SLA). The agreement describes the responsibilities of each internal support group toward other support groups, including the process and timeframe for delivery of their services. The objective of the OLA is to present a clear, concise and measurable description of the service provider's internal support relationships.
OLA is sometimes expanded to other phrases but they all have the same meaning:
- organizational-level agreement
- operating-level agreement
- operations-level agreement
OLA(s) are not a substitute for an SLA. The purpose of the OLA is to help ensure that the underpinning activities that are performed by a number of support team components are clearly aligned to provide the intended SLA.
If the underpinning OLA(s) are not in place, it is often very difficult for organisations to go back and engineer agreements between the support teams to deliver the SLA. OLA(s) have to be seen as the foundation of good practice and common agreement, the sum of which may contribute to an SLA.
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