Operational Level Agreements, or OLAs, are agreements between different teams or departments within an organization that define the responsibilities and expectations for delivering a service. OLAs are particularly common in IT service management, but can also be applied to any other service-oriented business process.
The purpose of an OLA is to establish a baseline understanding across teams about how a service will be delivered. This includes identifying the individuals or teams responsible for different aspects of the service, defining the roles and responsibilities of each team member, specifying the processes, tools, and technologies that will be used to deliver the service, and establishing performance metrics to measure the quality of delivery.
For example, in an IT service management context, an OLA might be created between the network operations team, the security operations team, and the application support team. The OLA would define how these teams will work together to deliver a service, such as an e-commerce website, and would specify the roles and responsibilities of each team.
The OLA might include details on how the network operations team will ensure that the website is always available, how the security operations team will protect the website from attacks, and how the application support team will troubleshoot any issues that arise. It might also include performance metrics, such as the maximum acceptable downtime for the website, the response time for resolving issues, and the level of security required for protecting customer data.
OLAs are important because they help to ensure that everyone involved in delivering a service is aligned and working together towards a common goal. They can also help to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts that can arise when different teams have different expectations about how the service should be delivered.
In addition to OLAs, organizations may also use Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to define the expectations between the organization and its customers regarding the delivery of a service. SLAs typically include performance targets, such as uptime, response time, and support availability, and penalties if those targets are not met.
In summary, an Operational Level Agreement is an agreement that defines how different teams within an organization will work together to deliver a service. OLAs can help to ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards a common goal, and can help to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts that can arise when different teams have different expectations.