How to Develop a Service Level Agreement

Service Level Agreement Template Part II: The Overview

The SLA template started on page 3 and continued below provides the detail required to successfully develop an understanding between IT and business.

This Agreement represents a Service Level Agreement (“SLA” or “Agreement”) between [Name of the IT group] and [Business Unit] for the provisioning of IT services required to support and sustain [System and/or Service Name]. 

This Agreement remains valid until superseded by a revised agreement mutually endorsed by the stakeholders. Changes are recorded in the amendments section of this Agreement and are effective upon mutual endorsement by the primary stakeholders.

This Agreement outlines the parameters of all IT services covered as they are mutually understood by the primary stakeholders.

Goals & Objectives

The purpose of this Agreement is to ensure that the proper elements and commitments are in place to provide consistent IT service support and delivery to the Business Units.

Revise purpose relative to the specific needs of the organization.

The goal of this Agreement is to obtain mutual agreement for IT service provision.

Include / revise goals relative to the specific needs of the organization.

The objectives of this Agreement are to:

·         Provide clear reference to service ownership, accountability, roles and/or responsibilities.

·         Present a clear, concise and measurable description of service provision to the customer.

·         Match perceptions of expected service provision with actual service support & delivery.

Include / revise objectives relative to the specific needs of the organization.

1. Stakeholders

The following organizations will be used as the basis of the Agreement and represent the primary stakeholders associated with this SLA:

IT Organization: [Name of the IT group]

IT Customer(s): [Business Unit Name]

The following stakeholders are responsible for the deployment and ongoing support of this agreement: (contact information may include E-mail address, phone number, support line, pager, etc.)

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StakeholderTitle / RoleContact Information
[Stakeholder][Title / Role][Contact Information]
[Stakeholder][Title / Role][Contact Information]
[Stakeholder][Title / Role][Contact Information]
[Stakeholder][Title / Role][Contact Information]

2. Service Environment

The following information provides detail on the users, tools, applications and/or other components supported by this SLA:

Number of End Users: [# End Users] specific to application(s), if in scope

Number of Concurrent Users: [# Concurrent Users]

Number of Registered Users: [# Registered Users]

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User Base Description:[User Base Description] e.g. internal users, external users, etc.
In-Scope Applications:[In-Scope Applications] e.g. including versions, modules, packaged, proprietary, etc.
Infrastructure Services:[Infrastructure Services] e.g. specific network, security, telephony requirements, etc.
SLA Dependencies:[SLA Dependencies] e.g. Operational Level Agreements (OLAs), parallel SLA dependencies, etc.

3. Periodic Review

This Agreement is valid from the Effective Dateoutlined herein and is valid until the Date ofTermination. This Agreement should be reviewed at a minimum once per fiscal year; however, in lieu of a review during any period specified, the current Agreement will remain in effect.

The document owner is responsible for facilitating regular reviews of this document. Contents of this document may be amended as required, provided mutual agreement is obtained from the primary stakeholders and communicated to all affected parties. The document owner will incorporate all subsequent revisions and obtain mutual agreements / approvals as required.

Document Owner: [IT team owning this document]

Review Period: [Review Period] e.g. “Annually” or “Quarterly”

Previous Review Date: [Last or Previous Review Date]

Next Review Date: [Next Review Date]

This Agreement will be posted to the following location and will be made accessible to all stakeholders:

Document Location: [SLA Directory and/or Location]

4. Service Agreement

The following detailed service parameters are the responsibility of the IT organization in the ongoing support of this Agreement.

4.1.    Service Scope

The following Services are covered by this Agreement; full descriptions, specifications and costs are outlined in the IT Service Catalog. (References to the Service Catalog may be pasted into this document or added as an Appendix to the Agreement for clarification, if required)

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Reference No.Service (Examples)
1Software licensing & patching
2Minor software upgrades
3Application server backup and recovery
4User security & account management
5Application data backup and recovery
6Automated server monitoring

4.2. Customer Requirements

Customer responsibilities and/or requirements in support of this Agreement include: List Customer responsibilities; these can be categorized by department, application or specific to service parameters.

·         Adherence to any related policies, processes and procedures

·         Appropriate incidents and/or request prioritization as previously outlined and/or in cooperation with the IT organization

·         Advanced scheduling of all service related requests and other special services with the IT organization

·         Creation and maintenance of all required project documentation

·         Appropriate use of support toolsets

·         Payment for all service-related setup and/or configuration costs prior to service provision.

·         Review all hours logged by the IT organization for appropriateness.

·         Reasonable availability of business unit representative(s) when resolving a service related incident or request.

4.3.  IT organization requirements

IT organization responsibilities and/or requirements in support of this Agreement include: List IT responsibilities; these can be categorized by department, application or specific to service parameters.

·         Meeting response times associated with service related incidents.

·         Generating quarterly reports on service levels for the business unit

·         Training required staff on appropriate service support tools.

·         Appropriate notification to the business unit for all scheduled maintenance

·         Facilitation of all service support activities involving incident, problem, change, release and configuration management.

4.4.  Service Assumptions

Assumptions related to in-scope services and/or components include:

·         Customer user base will remain within 5% of current staff levels.

·         Funding for major upgrades will be provided by the business unit and treated as a project outside the scope of this Agreement.

·         Changes to services will be communicated and documented to all stakeholders.

5. Service Management

Effective support of in-scope services is a result of maintaining consistent service levels. The following sections provide relevant details on service availability, monitoring, measurement and reporting of in-scope services and related components.

5.1.  Service Availability

Coverage parameters specific to the service(s) covered in this Agreement are as follows:

Outline specific times during which service provision is provided / valid.

·         8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. U.S. Eastern Time

·         Monday - Friday, 365 days per year

This section may be broken down by application, environment or categories specific to the business unit requirements or IT organization constraints, e.g.:

Production Computing Environment

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Customer AvailabilitySundays, 2:00 p.m. to Sundays, 2:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time
Maintenance WindowSundays, 2:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time
Automated Server Monitoring24 x 7 365 days per year

Development Computing Environment

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Customer AvailabilityMonday to Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time
Maintenance WindowMonday to Friday, 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time; Fridays, 8:00 p.m. to Mondays, 6:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time
Automated Server MonitoringMonday to Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time


5.2.  Availability Restrictions

This section may be used to document specific times the business unit requires service availability and may include specific hours or days that should be avoided when emergency changes are required.

 5.3. Service Measurements

The following measurements will be established and maintained by the IT organization to ensure optimal service provision to the business unit:

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MeasurementDefinitionPerformance Target
Application X AvailabilityPercentage of time Application X is available outside of maintenance window.95% availability.
Client Response TimeClient response time for Application X for a sample of transactions executed in less than 10 seconds.90% of specified transactions in 30 seconds or less.
# of Unscheduled OutagesNumber of outages during the Core Availability Time# of Unscheduled Outages


5.4.   Service Level Reporting

The IT organization will supply the business unit with the following reports on the intervals indicated: All Recipients and Responsible parties should be outlined with contact information in the Stakeholder section of this Agreement.

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Report NameIntervalRecipientResponsible
Application Availability ReportQuarterlyBusiness UnitIT organization
Client Response Time ReportQuarterlyBusiness UnitIT organization
Application Incident ReportQuarterlyBusiness UnitIT organization

5.5.  Service Requests

In support of services outlined in this Agreement, the IT organization will respond to service related incidents and/or requests submitted by the business unit within the following time frames:

·         One (1) hour (during business hours) for issues classified as Critical.

·         Two (2) hours (during business hours) for issues classified as High priority.

·         Four (4) hours (during business hours) for issues classified as Medium priority.

·         Eight (8) hours (during business hours) for issues classified as Low priority.

·         Twenty Four (24) hours (during business hours) for a general service Request.

Specific incident and/or request parameters, thresholds and/or samples may be inserted here for additional clarification.

 5.6.  Service Maintenance

All services and/or related components require regularly scheduled maintenance (“Maintenance Window”) in order to meet established service levels. These activities will render systems and/or applications unavailable for normal user interaction for the following locations and timeframes:

         Location(s): [Location(s)]

         Timeframe(s): [Timeframe(s)] e.g.: 2:00 a.m., Sundays, U.S. Eastern time

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Begin02:00 EST0:000:0002:00 EST0:000:000:00
End14:00 EST0:000:0002:30 EST0:000:000:00


5.7. Service Expectations

Any deviations from current policies, processes and standards are noted by the following Service Exceptions: (Insert any special conditions / constraints related to coverage times and dates)

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Service Ref#Exception(s)
Batch Processing1.1Batch processing is covered by SLA (list the number)
Application Data Backup1.2Retention is limited to 2 years on site storage