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Communication Gaps and How to Close Them by Naomi Karten

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11. Service Level Agreements: A Powerful Communication Tool

A service level agreement (SLA) is a highly effective tool for improving communication between service providers and customers. SLAs help provider and customer groups more effectively manage expectations, clarify responsibilities, and minimize conflict. Yet, despite the proven effectiveness of SLAs, not everyone believes in their value, insisting that if people trust each other, they should not need a formal agreement.

Working recently with an IT group whose members thought SLAs would help them better communicate the scope of their services, I was startled by the intensity with which one member of the department voiced his objections. The vehemence with which he protested suggested that ...

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