A Service Level Agreement (SLA), is an agreement between two parties, where one is the customer and the other, is the service provider. The agreement may be contractual, or may be based on internal standards or policies, by which you measure yourself.
By example, 4 business hours, could fall within a business day or could span a business day depending on when the ticket is received. Similarly, it could span a weekend and even a bank holiday. If you're a global organization, you may also need to define and use multiple business hour specifications to reflect different time zones. A business hour is same unit of measure, but the start and end time of the day will be different.
SLAs often consist of a number of measurable events, such as an Initial Response, related to when the agent makes the first public comment back to the requester. Other event examples include ongoing updates, workarounds and solve times. The event periods often need to be in units as low as a few minutes and need to be exact to within a minute.
SLAs can be global, product or plan related, as well as specific to a particular customer. They also often have different time periods for different levels of assigned priority.
Actions as a consequence of not meeting include recording a violation, notification emails, and even re-assignment to mitigate a failure to meet commitments. Being proactive can significantly improve your performance.
This is typical simple, one plan, two event, SLA specification:
|Urgent||30 mins||2 hours|
|High||1 hour||4 hours|
|Normal||8 hours||16 hours|
|Low||16 hours||40 hours|
Times shown are business hours, 9am to 5pm (EST), Mon-Sat, excluding US observed public holidays.
- Adding more event types, such as: agent assignment, ongoing updates, ...
- Cell level overrides e.g. Urgent 24x7 instead of business hours
- Some times N/A for some priority levels
- Custom priorities (names and/or more than values)
- Specific terminology (event type names)
- Pre-warning times required
- More SLA Plans e.g. Gold/Silver/Bronze | Product A/B/C | Customer Specific
- Core Concepts
- Example SLA