Instructions: Sample IT Service Level Agreement

A document alone?  No effective SLA is simply a document.

First and foremost, this template should only be used as a place to keep track of the details from the negotiations with your customers. All too often I see IT people type up an SLA without actually negotiating with or even informing their customers about the details within it. The most important part of any SLA effort is to communicate with your customers to understand what their needs are then identify a way to meet those needs.

There are different types of SLA to cover your services, including:

  • Service-Based SLA – Covers one service for all the customers of that service)
  • Customer-Based SLA  – This is an SLA written for an individual customer group, covering all the services used by that customer.
  • Multilevel SLA – In the “real world,” organizations rarely have ALL service-based SLAs or ALL customer-based SLAs.  Multi-level SLAs are how it really happens.  Combing aspects of both for various parts of the organization or services and “stacking” agreements. The ITIL books actually provide a good example of how a three-layer structure might look:

“Corporate level This will cover all the generic SLM issues appropriate to every customer throughout the organization. These issues are likely to be less volatile, so updates are less frequently required

Customer level This will cover all SLM issues relevant to the particular customer group or business unit, regardless of the service being used.

Service level This will cover all SLM issues relevant to the specific service, in relation to a specific customer group (one for each service covered by the SLA).

Such a structure allows SLAs to be kept to a manageable size, avoids unnecessary duplication, and reduces the need for frequent updates. However, it does mean that extra effort is required to maintain the necessary relationships and links within the service catalogue and the CMS.”

Regardless of your format, every one of the services in your service catalog should be covered by at least one SLA. While this template is more geared towards a service-based SLA, with some minor adjustments you could use it for other types as well.

Download the SLA sample and read more at: Instructions: Sample IT Service Level Agreement by Jay Long

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