What is Service Level Management?

Your service desk may have agreed defined levels of support. Usually, this takes the form of a maximum response time and a maximum time in which the issue can be resolved. In other situations, the service desk may just need some method for making sure that issues are resolved in an acceptable period of time.

There are three types of service agreements, which are covered in more detail later in this section.

Response Agreements (RAs) – RAs are agreements between the end-user (or customer) and the service desk. For more information, see Response Agreements.

Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) – OLAs are agreements between the service desk and other internal groups involved in providing support. For example, the service desk could have an OLA with the procurement department detailing how quickly they will arrange the purchase of new hardware. For more information, see Operational Level Agreements.

Underpinning Contracts (UCs) – UCs are agreements between the IT department and external suppliers. For example, you could have a UC with your hardware supplier detailing how quickly new hardware is delivered after receiving a purchase order. For more information, see Underpinning Contracts.

All types of agreement use Response Levels and Escalations.

Agreement rules

You can configure a set of agreement rules to enable you to select the most suitable agreement automatically according to certain variables. For example, you can specify that a response agreement is determined by configuration item, category and user.

For more information, see Agreement rules.

Response Levels

Central to Service Level Management are Response Levels. Response levels define:

For more information, see Response levels.


Each Response Level can have any number of escalations at points through and beyond the agreed turnaround time. Each escalation specifies:

For more information, see Escalations.

Escalation Actions

Each Escalation within a Response Level can have any number of escalation actions. Escalation actions can specify:

For more information, see Creating escalation actions.


Calendars define the working day against which turnaround times are calculated. You can create different working hours for each day of the week and for holidays.

For more information, see Defining your support hours.