This document outlines our general development approach and Service Level Agreement (SLA) with our clients. It is written in non-legalese to make it easy to read.
Clients who enter a development contract with us will receive an actual SLA prepared by our lawyers. This document is not a legal document or binding. It is written purely for informational purposes and to provide clarity, so that you know how we work and what to expect.
Our Service Level Agreements are written to provide operational definitions and to provide accuracy, timeliness and precision in our engagements. They also help us identify important roles, metrics, scope, parameters and other contractual details that may be interpreted subjectively in different contexts and by different people.
Therefore, while project contracts and schedules are given a lot of prominence in the world of software development, and are obviously important, these documents only provide marginal benefits to the development process. The real crux of the relationship between a contractor and a patron is usually best defined by the terms of the Service Level Agreement, and all disagreements and disputes usually stem from an expectation gap.
This is easily remedied by creating a Service Level Agreement ahead of each engagement.
Each of our Service Level Agreements define five specific elements.
- Dates and the duration of service
- Time structure of service
- Review & monitoring obligations
- Service targets
- Service credits
Dates and Duration
Every Service Level Agreement starts and ends on a specific date. These dates and duration are explicitly agreed upon by both parties.
Our typical Service Level Agreement duration is six months. While most of our projects are completed well before the six month duration, we like to stay in touch with our clients and help out with the small issues related to our projects at no cost.
The time structure of a given Service Level Agreement will vary from project to project.
Some projects will require constant supervision and coverage over nights and weekends, where our team must be available in case there are any issues.
Other projects will be centred around specific campaigns, and will require escalated coverage during a specific period of time within the overall Service Level Agreement.
And even other projects will simply require a few hours of availability each week, or even month, to hit targets.
We identify your needs explicitly and make sure you get them 100% satisfied with our Service Level Agreements.
Review & monitoring obligations
In the ideal worlds, you don’t need to monitor and keep tabs on your website or software product, your developers do.
In order to bring you into that ideal world, we establish review and monitoring obligations in our Service Level Agreements. This way, you won’t need to keep tabs on your project and make sure everything is working.
We always build automated systems to detect bugs, defects and downtime. But on top of that, we also manually review and monitor our projects, as defined by our obligations in our Service Level Agreements.
The service target – to put it bluntly – establishes rules for our staff in how they are going to respond to the various issues we encounter.
It helps us prioritise our work toward equitable outcomes for all our clients, while also setting expectations on the service you’ll receive.
Unless structured otherwise, our typical Service Targets look as follows:
|Severity Level||Description||Target Response|
|1. Outage||Server down, service unavailable||Immediate|
|2. Critical||High risk of downtime or service interruption||Within 10 minutes|
|3. Urgent||End-user impact – revenue interruption||Within 30 minutes|
|4. Important||End-user impact – core experience||Within 24 hours|
|5. Informational||Information request||Within 2 business days|
|6. Feature||Feature request||Within 5 business days|
We hit our targets. In fact, over the past 7 years, we are proud to report that have not failed a single service target.
That being said, it’s best to be prepared. We do this preparation by offering service credits as a form of insurance.
If your Service Level Agreement is not achieved, we’ll offer specific credits to remedy the issue.
These service credits are structured on a per project basis, and are always resolved as refunds or payments in dollar figures. We do not offer hours of work, features or duration extensions as a service credit.