Service Level Management


Service Level Management (SLM) Process is defining, etsblishing, monotoring and optimizing service quality and service levels of services agreeed with the customer. Objectives and framework of the service levels and service quality are defined in the Service Level Management Process.


The purpose of IT Service Level Management Process is to provide quality of service agreed with the customer and to imporve the service quality as a balance between value of customer and service quality improvement costs

Service Level Management contributes to an integrated Service Management approach by achieving the following goals:

  • Establishing and assuring the ciontracted service quality

Roles & Functions

Service Level Management specific roles

Static Process Roles

See Service Level section, Service Level Management Roles x Person for details

Service Level Management Process Owner
Initiator of the process, accountable for defining the process strategic goals and allocating all required process resources. See Continual Process Improvement Management for a detailed description of these activities.
Service Level Management Process Manager (SL Manager)
Manager of the entire process, responsible for its effectiveness and efficiency. Team leader of the function „Service Level Management Team“. See Continual Process Improvement Management for a detailed description of these activities.
Service Level Management Team
Team associated to the Service Level Management Process.

Dynamic Process Roles

These roles are dynamically created during the Service Level Management Process. See the process-specific or activity-specific rules for details.

Service Level Management Owner
The attribute in the records contains the value of the Role/Function currently accountable for the Service (but NOT for the Service Level Management Process). The Service Level Management Owner can be changed with the help of a Hierarchical Escalation. The content or partner related organization of supply is depending on strategic definition in supply strategy.
Service Level Management Agent
The attribute in the records contains the value of the Role/Function currently {responsible en} for the activity or task within an activity of the Service Level Management Management. The Service Level Management Agent can be changed with the help of a Functional Escalation, if permitted by the Rules.

Service Specific Roles

Roles depending on the affected service are found in the Supply Strategy or Policy Definition.

Customer Specific Roles

Customer SL Manager
Person acting as the SL owner for specific customer defined by historic relationship with customer or sales and distribution strategy

Information artifacts

This section describes information/data required or recorded by the process. Typically the SLA process is based on the SL specification:

  • Customer unique ID: Identification of customer
  • Service: definition of service regarded
  • Service levels: Service levels agreed for the service
  • Tolerances: Tolerance levels for the SL defined
  • Definition of terms: Definition of terms to describe the SL

Key Concepts

Service Levels

Quality of service can be defined my diverse metrics and descriptions. The ideas behind is to describe the quality of the agreed service. Numerous possibilities for service level definitions are possible and depend typically of the service content:

  • Hours of operations for IT operations
  • Duration of support team issue solution for support teams
  • Number of bugs per line of code in case of software delivered
  • Other

Typically this metrics need a reference like time period, number of customer, number of users etc. E.g. the SL for IT operations of an IT system could be defined as follows:

  • 24 hours / 7 days operation
  • 99% availability of the system
  • Non availability only on 2 hours per month

The basic service is described in the Service Agreement, that is defined in the Service Agreement Management Process.

Service Quality Plan

Plan how to deliver the agreed quality for each service. Steps and actions are defined for internal and external service suplier.

Service Improvement Programm

In case of low service quality an SIP is defined to impeove the quality fo service

Cost/ price simulations

For the definition of best price of service/ cost of service relation for the customer and the organization, simulations are often done, involving the review of all costs-related to service and the price that should be requested from the customer. This simulation is supported by SL Process with costs, all other variables and the customer negotiations can be supported by CRM Process, SL Agreement Management Process and Service Design Process.


High Level Process Flow Chart

This chart illustrates the Service Level Management process and its activities.

Critical Success Factors

Critical Success Factors (CSF):

  • Clear defined metrics and processes
  • Established efficient monitoring process

Performance Indicators (KPI)

  • Service levels exceeded
  • Incidents
  • Customer staisfaction

Process Trigger

Event Trigger

Time Trigger

Permanent review of service quality

Process Specific Rules

  • every service level agreement has defined service levels
  • service levels are monitored
  • service levels are permanently improved

Note: for the different types of rules see Rules.

Process Activities

SL Design

This activity supports the SL Agreement Management process by defining:

  • technical aspects
    • internally possible service levels and costs for these service levels
    • possible new service levels, upgraded service levels, existing service levels
  • commercial aspects
    • costs of possible service levels and their combinations

If new service levels or service level combinations are requested, SL Management requests internal resources and experts for support in definition of costs and efforts.

Activity Specific Rules

  • provide cost/ SL relations
  • set status on „designed“

SL implementation and review

Agreed service levels for services are provided to this activity in the service catalogue. This activity supports the SL Agreement Management process by monitoring the service quality reviewing:

  • issues
  • problems
  • customer records

and auditing existing services and service levels. In case of service issues the Issue or Problem Management are triggered and the CRM management is informed. A SIP is established, implemented and reviewed.

This activity is provided as long as there is agreement cancellation.

Activity Specific Rules

  • provide review on agreed service levels
  • in case service in cancelled:
    • set status on „end of service“, trigger next activity

SL cancellation

SL Agreement Management informs the SL Management in case of contract cancellations. SL Management stops the review of SL quality.

Activity Specific Rules

  • in case of SL Agreement cancellation
  • stop review on agreed service levels
  • set status on „cancelled“
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