Online ITIL® Training and Preparation:Service Level Management: Designing SLA Structures & SLA Content

Service Level Management: Designing SLA Structures &  SLA Content


Last updated June 14, 2016


Service Level Management: Designing SLA Structures:

There are a number of ways in which you can structure your SLAs. To do that, here are a few important factors to consider:

• Will the SLA structure allow flexibility in the levels of service to be delivered for various customers?

• Will the SLA structure require much duplication of effort?

• Who will sign the SLAs?

Three types of SLAs structures that are discussed within ITIL® are Service-based, Customer-based and Multi-level or Hierarchical SLAs.

Many different factors will need to be considered when deciding which SLA structure is most appropriate for an organization to use.

Typical Multi-level SLA Structure components are

1. Corporate level: All generic issues pertaining to the organization are covered, which are the same for the entire organization.

For Example, Security SLA’s at the organization level. Every employee needs to have password of 8 characters and need to change it every thirty days, or every employee needs to have an access card with photograph imprinted.

2. Customer level: Those issues specific to a customer can be dealt with.

For Example, Security requirements of one or more departments within the organization are higher. For example, the financial department needs higher security measures.

3. Service Level: All issues relevant to a specific service (in relation to the customer) can be covered.

For example, The email services for a particular department, say management, needs encryption and secure backups.

Using a multi-level structure for a large organization reduces the duplication of effort while still providing customization for customers and services by inheritance, which is to say that corporate level SLA’s apply to everybody and every department in that organization, customer level SLA’s apply to the department and so on.

Let’s illustrate the concept as depicted in the slide. Say we are a beverages provider, with tea, coffee and juices in our service portfolio.

So if customer A wants tea to be provided every morning and evening, coffee before and after lunch, and juices during lunch hours, that’s the customer-specific SLA we have signed with Customer A and we price the offering based on that.

Now we also have juice stand, where we offer juice all the time but at fixed prices, where the customers B and C can source their needs. This is a service-based SLA.

Service Level Management: SLA Content:

So what does a SLA document typically consist of?

SLA’s as a document typically consist of

• An introduction to the SLA, what does this agreement propose

• A Service description, what service this SLA supports and details of the service

• Mutual responsibilities, who’s responsible for what part of the service

• Scope of SLA

• Applicable service hours, from what time till what time is the service available according to the agreement

• Service availability, how much is the service available during the service window and outside of service window

• Reliability

• Customer support arrangements

• Contact points & escalation, a communication matrix

• Service performance

• Security

• Costs and charging method used

The key criteria for any information to be contained within an SLA is that it must be measurable, with all language used being clear and concise in order to aid understanding.

Hope that helped. If you've got any questions to ask us, comment away!

About the Author

Chandana is working as a Senior Content Writer in and handles variety of creative writing jobs. She has done M.A. in English Literature from Gauhati University. A PRINCE2 Foundation certified, she has a unique and refreshing style of writing which can engross the readers to devour each sentence of her write-ups.


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