How to write a good agreement

Agencies today face the difficult task of translating their users' desires into formal service-level agreements. Here are a few areas agencies should focus on when writing their agreements, according to experts in the field.

* Completeness. The document should clearly outline all of the functions that will be monitored and include end-to-end response time expectations or goals for specific components, such as router throughput.

* Reporting functions. The agreement should list the reports that will be used to gauge performance, how often they will be generated and who will be able to access them.

* Change management. Networks are dynamic entities; applications, devices and users are added or subtracted. The agreement should outline the impact such changes will have on performance requirements.

* Clarity. Although a service-level agreement is a formal contract, it should not read like a legal brief. Both parties should easily understand the basic principles as well as the potential penalties.

* Consistency. Service-level agreements tend to be complex and lengthy, so the authors should ensure that terms, such as "end-user response time," are used in a consistent manner throughout the document.

Featured

  • Government Innovation Awards
    Government Innovation Awards - https://governmentinnovationawards.com

    Congratulations to the 2020 Rising Stars

    These early-career leaders already are having an outsized impact on government IT.

  • Cybersecurity
    cybersecurity (Rawpixel/Shutterstock.com)

    CMMC clears key regulatory hurdle

    The White House approved an interim rule to mandate defense contractors prove they adhere to existing cybersecurity standards from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Stay Connected