Checklist SLA OLA

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Definition: The Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an agreement between an IT service provider and a customer. The Operational Level Agreement (OLA) is an agreement between an IT service provider and another part of the same organization, governing the delivery of a infrastructure service.

ITIL Process: ITIL Service Design - Service Level Management

ITIL 4 Practice: Service level management

Checklist Category: ITIL Templates



Service Level Agreement (SLA)/ Operational Level Agreement (OLA)

The ITIL document types 'Service Level Agreement (SLA)' and 'Operational Level Agreement (OLA)' use identical structures. The following statements on Service Level Agreements are therefore equally applicable to OLAs.

There is an important point to consider: When agreeing an SLA, the service provider acts as a provider of services to the business; in the case of an OLA, the agreement is between two parties within the service provider organization.

The Service Level Agreement extends the service definition from the Service Catalogue, defining detailed service level targets, mutual responsibilities, and other requirements specific to a service provided for a certain (group of) customer(s). It focuses on the definition of requirements from a customer viewpoint.

The SLA document evolves from the Service Level Requirements during the Service Design process.

A multi-level SLA structure is often adopted to avoid duplication and reduce the frequency of updates, as in the following example of a three-level SLA structure:

  • Corporate level, covering issues applicable to every customer within a business
  • Customer level, covering issues applicable to a particular customer or customer group within a business, regardless of the service being used
  • Service level, covering issues applicable to specific services

Service Level Agreement - Contents

A Service Level Agreement typically contains the following information (actual contents may vary depending on the type of service):


Service name

Clearance information (with location and date)

  1. Service Level Manager
  2. Customer representative

Contract duration

  1. Start and end dates
  2. Rules regarding renewal and termination of the agreement (if applicable, also rules regarding early termination of the agreement)

Description/ desired customer outcome

  1. Business justification and benefits
  2. Business processes/ activities on the customer side supported by the service
  3. Desired outcome in terms of utility (example: "Field staff can access enterprise applications xxx and yyy without being constrained by location or time")
  4. Desired outcome in terms of warranty (example: "High availability required during office hours in locations …")

Communication between customer and service provider

  1. Responsible contact person on customer side with contact details
  2. Designated Business Relationship Manager on service provider side with contact details
  3. Service Reporting (contents and intervals of service reports to be produced by the service provider)
  4. Procedure for handling exceptions and complaints (e.g. details to be included in formal complaints, agreed response times, escalation procedure)
  5. Satisfaction surveys (description of the procedure for measuring customer satisfaction on a regular basis)
  6. Service Reviews (description of the procedure for reviewing the service with the customer on a regular basis)

Service and asset criticality

  1. Identification of business-critical assets connected with the service
    1. Vital Business Functions (VBFs) supported by the service
    2. Other critical assets used within the service (e.g. certain types of business data)
  2. Estimation of the business impact caused by a loss of the service or assets (in monetary terms, or using a classification scheme)

Service times

  1. Times when the service is required to be available
  2. Exceptions (e.g. weekends, public holidays)

Required types and levels of support

  1. On-site support
    1. Area/ locations
    2. Types of users
    3. Types of infrastructure to be supported
    4. Reaction and resolution times (according to priorities, definition of priorities e.g. for the classification of Incidents)
  2. Remote support
    1. Area/ locations
    2. Types of users (user groups granted access to the service)
    3. Types of infrastructure to be supported
    4. Reaction and resolution times (according to priorities, definition of priorities e.g. for the classification of Incidents)

Service level requirements/ targets

  1. Availability targets and commitments
    1. Conditions under which the service is considered to be unavailable (e.g. if the service is offered at several locations)
    2. Availability targets (exact definition of how the agreed availability levels will be calculated, based on agreed service time and downtime)
    3. Reliability targets (required by some customers, usually defined as MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) or MTBSI (Mean Time Between Service Incidents))
    4. Maintainability targets (required by some customers, usually defined as MTRS (Mean Time to Restore Service))
    5. Down times for maintenance (number of allowed down times, pre-notification periods)
    6. Restrictions on maintenance, e.g. allowed maintenance windows, seasonal restrictions on maintenance, and procedures to announce planned service interruptions
    7. Definitions of Major Incidents as well as Emergency Changes and Releases to resolve urgent issues, including procedures to announce unplanned service interruptions
    8. Requirements regarding availability reporting
  2. Capacity/ performance targets and commitments
    1. Required capacity (lower/upper limit) for the service, e.g.
      1. Numbers and types of transactions
      2. Numbers and types of users
      3. Business cycles (daily, weekly) and seasonal variations
    2. Response times from applications
    3. Requirements for scalability (assumptions for the medium and long-term increase in workload and service utilization)
    4. Requirements regarding capacity and performance reporting
  3. Service Continuity commitments (availability of the service in the event of a disaster)
    1. Time within which a defined level of service must be re-established
    2. Time within which normal service levels must be restored

Technical standards/ specification of the service interface

Mandated technical standards and specification of the technical service interface


  1. Duties of the service provider
  2. Duties of the customer (contract partner for the service)
  3. Responsibilities of service users (e.g. with respect to IT security)
  4. IT Security aspects to be observed when using the service (if applicable, references to relevant IT Security Policies)

Pricing model

  1. Cost for the service provision
  2. Rules for penalties/ charge backs

Change history

List of annexes and references

(e.g. to to higher-level SLAs on the corporate or customer level which also apply to this agreement)


(if applicable)



Is based on: Checklist 'Service Level Agreement (SLA), Operational Level Agreement (OLA)' from the ITIL Process Map

By:  Stefan Kempter , IT Process Maps.


Overview  › Service Level Agreement - Contents  › Required types and levels of support  › Service level requirements/ targets