• Visitors can check out the Forum FAQ by clicking this link. You have to register before you can post: click the REGISTER link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. View our Forum Privacy Policy.

Template for Support Contract

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Template for Support Contract

    I’m setting up a support contract with a small charity I do a bit of work for from time to time.

    Just wondering if there are any ready made contract templates out there for this sort of thing.

    I’ve never done this kind of thing before. Presumably I would define an SLA and detail some kind of timeframe for resolution of an issue within that SLA. Also, no doubt, penalties for not hitting the SLA?

    Would you have different levels of SLAs for different severities? What’s to stop the client calling everything as a level 1 severity & requiring urgent resolution?

    So many questions... I guess I need a ready made contract.



      Sounds like you've never worked in a Service Desk environment, which is a world governed by SLAs where everything has a priority and a defined response time.

      A cursory google for the tricky term "support contract example" returned many results, such as:

      Of course, you could get someone with legal experience to help you rather than anonymous internet randoms but then that's what a real business does...


        Talking of priorities, there is a whole world of pain right there. I've created several priority matrices over the years for commercial, safety critical and public service clients. There are three broad concepts to meet (impact, urgency, criticality) but how you measure them against your particular client is a challenge. then you have to condense it all to a matrix that the harassed bod on the phone can apply quickly and that has been publicised to your customer workforce so they don't waste time arguing about it. (and, just to make it interesting, can be represented by a single character since that is all 99% of service desk systems' call logging will allow.

        You have asked a simple question. The real answer will take about three years and several iterations to learn. First step is to clearly elucidate what the customer wants (it will be "Everything, Immediately") and then work out how to deliver it. Then, and only then you can write a draft SLA.
        Blog? What blog...?


          No that's a useful post, thanks.

          Yes, as I thought all along, everything will be a top priority requiring immediate resolution so the prospect of having a tiered priority system in which the client assesses priority is never going to fly. Because everything will be no 1 priority all the time.

          I was thinking of proposing something whereby there are limits on the no of priority 1 issues that could be raised in a single year.

          Either way, the client is so small and poorly funded that I don't think it's going to pay enough to make it worth my while to contractually put my a*s on the line.

          Currently the way things are done is that they get an issue they ask me to fix it. And I do, but generally when I have time to do it which is often weeks down the line.

          I don't want to leave this outfit in the lurch but when they ask me questions about who will do it if I'm not prepared to do it I genuinely can't think of an answer other than telling them to go to Renta-a-coder.com or its equivalent. Either that or a proper support contract that renumerates me well enough to make provisions to be able to attend to their needs when I'm on holiday, busy with another gig etc.


            Originally posted by Great Parks View Post
            I was thinking of proposing something whereby there are limits on the no of priority 1 issues that could be raised in a single year.
            You can see how that just won't fit the clients requirements don't you? If you can't you shouldn't be touching this whole thing.
            'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!


              Sort of agree with NLUK. Unless you can work out with the charity exactly how support is to be delivered and under what criteria, you are better off either pointing them to someone who can dedicate the time or leaving them to it.

              Such arrangements can be made to work; I once wrote an SLA that promised absolutely nothing at all other than reasonable endeavours (not best endeavours, ever - that has legal weight) if something blew up that the client couldn't handle. However you and they need to sit down and work out what they need (not what they want) and what level of urgency is appropriate (again, not what they want it to be).

              You're trying to help them, after all is said and done. If they want a supplier they need to put it on a commercial basis.
              Blog? What blog...?