Service-Level Management (SLM)

Service Level Management (SLM) is one of five components in the ITIL Service Delivery area. It is arguably the most important set of processes within the ITIL framework. SLM processes provide a framework by which services are defined, service levels required to support business processes are agreed upon, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) are developed to satisfy the agreements, and costs of services are developed.

Executing Service Level Management processes permits IT staff to more accurately and cost effectively provision identified levels of service to the business. The processes ensure business and IT understand their roles and responsibilities and empower the business units. In the end, business units are justifying to senior management the levels of service needed to support business processes, not IT. And the built-in continuous improvement processes ensure that when business needs change, supporting IT services change with them. Service Level Management activities include:

  • Identifying business requirements by working with business units
  • Establishing the scope of services, timeliness, hours of operation, recovery aspects, and service performance
  • Translating business requirements into IT requirements
  • Developing and maintaining a service catalog, including costs for different tiers of service performance
  • Performing gap analysis between business requirements and available services.
  • Determining the costs related to services such that service goals satisfy business needs at a price the business can afford
  • Drafting, negotiating and refining SLAs with the business units, ensuring business requirements are met and agreement from all parties involved

Implementing SLAs

  • Measuring SLA performance, reporting results and adjusting as necessary[1]


  1. Definition - What is Service Level Management and what activities does it include Help Systems