Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an agreement between a service provider and a client. It builds a set of deliverables that one party has accepted to provide another. This agreement can exist between company and clients, between departments of the company. It also exists in one department that delivers a recurring service to another department within that business. SLA is used to build efficient terms, take care of disputes that might arise and protect the interests of both parties. It defines and explains the deliverables, timelines, conflicts that may appear, feedback mechanisms and how the problem can be neutralized.
How is it done?
Yes, the SLA is a legally binding contract, protecting the interests and relationships of both service providers and the customer.
The clauses and conditions in which time or limits are not enforced on the SLA are exclusions. Usually, it covers the emergency measures, failure of any third party dependency and backup support.
Yes, the SLA can be amended once it’s made as is convenient to both parties. However, as a best practice, is to mention the changes clause prior to the agreement to make it easier to amend the SLA to the requirements.
SLA can be made either for a service (service-based SLA), or for a client lifecycle management (customer-based SLA) or a mix of various levels (hierarchical or multi-level SLA).
SLAs do not have any expiration date. They cover most of the metrics like service incidents, uptime, turnaround time, logistics and performance KPIs. However, they are usually revived after every major project or development change to keep it updated.