The functional responsibility to understand who the consumer of IT services is and how they define success falls to the account management role in most IT organizations.
The charter of account management is to ensure that positive, constructive relationships are maintained between IT and its customers, develop service solutions, and manage the movement of service requests from initiation to implementation in support of business needs.
The general responsibilities of the account management function are:
Ensure that a proactive, positive relationship is maintained between IT and users
Provide a formalized planning process to ensure that current and future needs of business units are satisfied
Ensure that all changes to the technology environment are authorized, analyzed , approved, implemented, and tracked in a timely , controlled manner
Improve processes on an ongoing basis
In the IT service delivery arena "beginning with the end in mind" translates to understanding what the business needs are and how their satisfaction can be supported or enabled.Chapter 4, "Business Linkage," describes the path of linking the enterprise mission, strategies, and objectives to the IT services, and the people, processes, and technology that support/enable the satisfaction of those needs. Once the business needs are identified, a plan should be constructed to meet them.
Account planning should include the following steps or processes:
Determine Business Needs
The purpose of this procedure is to gain input into the account planning process with respect to changes that need to be factored into the business unit account plan and ultimately into the overall IT plan.
Review Previous Experience
The purpose of this procedure is to gain an understanding of the service history of a specific business unit user and provide a foundation to begin an account plan for them.
Review Existing Service Level Agreements
The purpose of this procedure is to review existing SLAs to determine where IT has performed admirably and poorly. The results of this review or audit will provide input into an account profile and evaluation of processes. The following is an outline of what should be included in an account profile. This profile should be maintained on an ongoing basis.
Business unit or subunit profiled
Applications supported and associated SLA
Other services provided
Composite or summary service satisfaction query responses
Service satisfaction survey responses
Service level agreement audit results
Gaps in service expectations and actual service provided
Future service needs
Determine Satisfaction Level
The purpose of this procedure is to develop a broad view of the overall satisfaction the user is experiencing from IT.
Determine Expectations Gap
The purpose of this procedure is to complete the account profile by analyzing the information contained in an account profile and highlight the gaps uncovered between the user's expectations and the service provided by IT.
Develop Account Plan
The purpose of this procedure is to create a document for each business unit that will serve as a focal point for planning how to provide service to that unit in the future. The following is an outline of an account plan:
Service Improvements Required
Process Improvements Planned
Technology Changes Planned
Process Changes Planned
Staffing/Training Changes Planned
Technology Changes Planned
New Business Needs
New Process Requirements
Resource Changes Required for Business Unit for FY
Changes in Service Level Agreements Required
The attributes of a service level agreement (SLA) was described in Chapter 5. The importance of an initial mutual agreement on what services are required to support applications cannot be underestimated.
Harris Kern, in his book Rightsizing the New Enterprise, provides an excellent description of the objectives of the SLA. The objective of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) is to define a framework for managing the quality and quantity of delivered services, in the face of changing business needs and user requirements, at a price the business is able to afford. Specifically, this document intends to:
Synchronize IT services with the business needs of the customers
Set the correct level of service expectations and responsibilities for both IT and the customer
Enable IT to be an effective and flexible partner to the business unit, aiding rapid response to the changing business environment
Enable IT to plan for the delivery of required services at the lowest cost to the customer
Enable IT to maintain quality and visibility of the services that they can provide, and thus demonstrate value for money. 
 Harris Kern and Randy Johnson, Rightsizing the New Enterprise, SunSoft Press, 1994.
You can find an example of SLA in Appendix B.