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Books and Ebooks by Naomi

Managing Expectations Communication Gaps How to Establish
Managing Expectations Communication Gaps
and How to Close Them
How to Establish
Service Level Agreements

Changing How You Manage Change Presentation Skills
Changing How You Manage and Communicate Change

Presentation Skills for Technical Professionals
Also these ebooks:

  40 Frequent Feedback-Gathering Flaws and How to Fix Them
  How to Survive, Excel and Advance as an Introvert
  How to Profit (Quickly!) by Writing a Handbook

Questions? Contact me by

Dorset House Publishing, 355 pp., ISBN 0-932633-53-6

$34 plus shipping

Whether you manage people or projects, communication is crucial. How often, though, have you found yourself shouting across communication gaps that have widened into yawning chasms?

This book will help you use communication as a tool for successfully carrying out projects, delivering service, implementing change, strengthening teamwork, building relationships and dealing with everyday miscommunication.

Here's an excerpt on communicating during times of major technological or organizational change.

TO ORDER this book in printed or pdf formats, contact my publisher, Dorset House.

Also available as a printed book from Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Japan, Barnes & Noble, and numerous other books sites.

Here is an overview of the contents:


    1. Mind the Gap
SECTION 1: Gaps in Everyday Interactions
    2. Getting Through: Responsibilities of the Sender
    3. Misinterpretations: How Messages Cause Confusion
    4. Untangling Tangled Interactions: Reaction of the Recipient
SECTION 2: Gaps in Building Relationships
    5. Building a Strong Foundation
    6. Appreciating and Benefiting from Communication Differences
    7. Understanding the Other Party's Perspective
    8. The Care and Feeding of Relationships
SECTION 3: Service Gaps
    9. The Communication of Caring
    10. Gathering Customer Feedback
    11. Service Level Agreements: A Powerful Communication Tool
SECTION 4: Change Gaps
    12. The Experience of Change
    13. Changing How You Communicate During Change
    14. On Becoming a Gapologist
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Working With People Who Want More, Better, Faster, Sooner, NOW!

Foreword by Gerald M. Weinberg
Dorset House Publishing, 240 pp., ISBN 0-932633-27-7

$28 plus shipping

TO ORDER this book in printed or pdf formats, contact my publisher, Dorset House.

Also available as a printed book from Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Japan, Barnes & Noble, and numerous other books sites.

Expectations are impossible to turn off. But you can improve your ability to manage them, and thereby dramatically improve your service effectiveness. This book takes a serious, lighthearted look (yes, both!) at the impact of expectations, and what you can do to manage them better.

Here is an overview of the contents:

INTRODUCTION: The Expectations Challenge

SECTION 1: Communications

    1. Guard Against Conflicting Messages. How not to create unintended messages
    2. Use Jargon With Care. Speak to your listener's level
    3. Identify Communication Preferences. One method does not serve all
    4. Listen Persuasively. When listeners listen, talkers talk

SECTION 2: Information Gathering

    5. Help Customers Describe Their Needs. Use the "that's not it" strategy
    6. Become an Information-Gathering Skeptic. Challenge your assumptions
    7. Understand Your Customers' Context. Study the problem before you solve it
    8. Try the Solution on for Size. Why the specification is not the solution

SECTION 3: Policies and Practices

    9. Clarify Customer Perceptions. Believing is seeing
    10. Set Uncertainty-Managing Service Standards. Respect your customers' wait state
    11. When Appropriate, Just Say Whoa. How to say no so it sounds like yes
    12. Build Win-Win Relationships. Win friends and influence customers

CONCLUSION: Formulate an Action Plan. How to be a great expectations manager



These resources draw from my extensive SLA consulting and training experience. They will help you avoid serious flaws and failures by improving your understanding of:

  • What makes an SLA work well — or not so well
  • The key elements of an SLA and their functions
  • How to plan, develop and manage an SLA
  • The types of wording to use and to avoid
  • The pitfalls to guard against
  • What to look for in critiquing an SLA
  • How to be successful in establishing your SLAs

    The handbook and 3 SLA guides are yours for only $59, and for the next few weeks, you can try before you buy.

If you find these resources helpful, come on back and submit your $59 payment via PayPal by clicking on the Buy Now button (no account needed).
QUESTIONS? Contact me by

Table of Contents of the SLA handbook:

Chapter 1. Service Level Agreements: Role and Key Features

    Case study: analysis and recommendations
    What a service level agreement is and is not
    The parties to an agreement
    Key participants in establishing an SLA
    Variations in SLA focus
    Benefits of an agreement
    The role of the SLA in reducing uncertainty
    Initiation of a service level agreement
    How long should a service level agreement be?
    How long should an SLA take to establish?
    When not to establish an SLA
    How to make an SLA fail!
    Remember the human factor
Chapter 2. The SLA Document and Process at a Glance
    The SLA document vs. the SLA process
    The key elements of an SLA document and their functions
    A template outline
    The administrative elements
    Elements of a contractual SLA
    SLA process: Critical initial steps
    SLA process: Development checklist
Chapter 3. Exercise 1: Evaluate a Sample Agreement
    How to evaluate this agreement
    Sample agreement
    Observations about this agreement
    SLA evaluation: an important caveat
    Criteria for evaluating an SLA
Chapter 4. The Service Elements of an SLA
    Overview of the service elements
    Service element #1: Context-setting information
    Service element #2: Description of services
    Service element #3: Service standards
    Categories of service standards
    Caveats about selecting service standards
    Analysis of two service standards
    Service dependencies and service exceptions
    Escalation paths
    Division of responsibilities
    Real-time service standards
Chapter 5. The Management Elements of an SLA
    Overview of the management elements
    Management element #1: Service tracking & reporting
    What to track: objective and subjective measures
    Recommendations for service tracking and reporting
    Management element #2: Periodic review
    Objectives, methods, and frequency
    Management element #3: Change process
    Creating a change process
Chapter 6. Exercise 2: Evaluate a Sample Agreement
    How to use this agreement
    Evaluation criteria: another approach
    Model agreement
    Points worth noting about this agreement
Chapter 7. Critical Initial Steps
    Step 1: Assess whether an SLA is appropriate
    Step 2: Ensure management commitment
    Step 3: Designate SLA managers
    Step 4: Provide SLA education
Chapter 8. Development Checklist
    Step 1: Assess current services
    Step 2: Gather customer feedback
    Step 3: Ensure agreement about the agreement
    Step 4: Develop a draft SLA
    Step 5: Solicit feedback from reviewers
    Step 6: Implement and manage the agreement
Chapter 9. Products and Services by Naomi Karten
    Overview of products and services
    Training in how to establish an SLA
    SLA consulting support

Articles on Establishing Service Level Agreements
SLA FAQ page


Karten Associates
Randolph, Mass., USA

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