service level management

Service Level Management (SLM) is an IT Service Management (ITSM) Process area. It comes under Service Design Processes.

Service Level Management (SLM) Objectives

  • Define, document, agree, monitor, measure, report and review the level of IT services provided.
  • Provide and improve the relationship and communication with the business and customers.
  • Monitor and improve customer satisfaction with the quality of service delivered.
  • Ensure that proactive measures to improve the levels of service delivered are implemented wherever it is cost-justifiable to do so.

Service level management has three types of agreement at high level.

  • Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • Operational Level Agreement (OLA)
  • Contract


  • A service-level agreement is a negotiated agreement between two parties, where one is customer and the other is the service provider.
  • It describes IT services, documents, and service level targets.
  • SLA records a common understanding about services, priorities, responsibility, guarantees, and warranties.
  • A single SLA may cover multiple IT services or multiple customers.


  • It is an agreement between an ITSP and another part of the same business that provides services to the service provider.
  • The functional IT groups promise to each other to provide service to client or customers.
  • This agreement is mostly internal within support groups of an organization working to support a service-level agreement.
  • OLA are not substitute for an SLA. The purpose of the OLA is to help ensure that the internal work are done by number of team are aligned to provide the intended SLA.


  • It is legally binding agreement between multiple parties.

SLA Framework

SLAs are defined at different levels:

  • Customer-based SLA

This is an agreement with an individual customer group, covering all the services they use.

  • Service-based SLA

This is where an SLA covers one service, for all the customers of that service.

  • Multi-level SLA

Some organization follows multi-level SLA structure. It’s based on type of service you provide at multiple levels.

  • Corporate level
  • Customer level
  • Service level
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