An SLA or Service Level Agreement is a contract between a software provider and a customer about the scope of work during the software testing process. It is to set the expectations and come to a consensus between a customer and provider.
Usually, an SLA consists of:
- Overall service description
- Definition of the testing metrics
- Description of the review process
- Frequency of review process
- Termination of the agreement process
Furthermore, the agreement helps build a certain amount of trust between the two parties and other stakeholders and can be referred to at any point if the scope of work comes into question.
A good SLA should help the development team understand the overall software’s health while showcasing how the tiny nuances affect the application.
Some of the metrics mentioned in an SLA for software testing are as follows:
- Number of defects / Number of test runs
- Average time for a test run
- Total hits per run
- Average hits per run
- Number of hits found in production
There are SLAs written for other aspects of IT besides merely software testing or quality assurance.
Here are a few sections you need to focus on to write a good Service Level Agreement:
This section allows you to give your customers insight into your process. For example, you describe the types of tools you’d use, the process you’ll follow, what ways you’ll support the team, etc. The idea is to depict how quality is your number one priority, how you’d leverage different observation, engagement, and analysis methods, how iterations would work, and more.
This section must be crisp, clear, and easy to understand since it covers what the deliverables would be from you as a service provider and what kind of testing services you’ll be doing. Then, it delves deeper and sets expectations about the types of assistance, the targets to be achieved, the time required, etc.
This encapsulates the complete testing journey from the start until the end, describing every activity with its name, details, outcomes, the time required, tools required, etc. Once again, this must be kept simple so that the customers can easily read, comprehend and make the necessary decision.
Criteria/Metrics/Key Performance Indicators
This will enable you to list all the criteria mentioned above and others concisely and straightforwardly. You can also give a line or two about why you’ve chosen the indicators and how that affects the overall software. This adds to the reader’s experience and establishes authenticity in the customers’ minds.
This is the complete overview of an SLA or Service Level Agreement. While writing one, always keep your focus result-oriented, and you’ll reap the maximum benefits from that mindset.