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SDLC Service Level Agreements

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SOP 1060: Service Level Agreement (SLA)

The objective if this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is to document the definition, design and implementation of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) for a project. 
This SOP focuses on the definition of needs and requirements for the Governance and Operations groups to implement and SLA for a product/project. SLA target objectives and communications points are described.


i Definitions
1 Process Flow Diagrams
2 Roles and Responsibilities
3 Metrics
4 Procedure Activities
5 Forms
6 Exceptions
7 Tools/Software/Technology Used
8 Attachments

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SDLC Standard Operating Procedures:

SDLC Framework:

SDLC Gates:

SDLC Roles and Responsibilities:

SDLC Forms:

SDLC Templates:


SOP 1060 - Service Level Agreement (SLA) Definitions 


Term Definition/Description
Program/Project Management       . The systematic execution of a System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) for a release or projects that have significant impact on an organization’s service delivery.  This procedure oversees the SDLC execution; thus, it relies heavily on defined procedure activities and acceptance criteria for inputs and outputs

Note: Every unit within SDLC interacts with Program/Project Management.  Every release of new and enhanced features and functionality requires the commitment and effort from all departments. 

Project Manager The focal point throughout a project who ensures that the responsible party has completed with quality and comply with defined acceptance criteria.  The Project Manager also acts as the conduit for communicating the progress of the project and decisions made throughout the process to the Project Sponsor, Contracting Organization, and the Performing Organization.
Program Management Addresses oversight for a group of projects.  Program Managers shoulder the responsible for the successful completion of program objectives by supporting and developing project staff.  Reporting at this level provides Executive Management with the information necessary to make informed decisions and execute actions that optimize benefits to the organization.  
Program Manager The tactical manager who facilitates, monitors and communicates the progress and issues in implementing the strategic objectives of an approved program.  The Program Manager works cross-functionally to develop the blueprint that integrates multiple release deliverables that enhance the program’s portfolio.  
PMO The PMO is the organization that consolidates all project plans and reports the status to executive management.  Impacts from individual projects can be seen from an organizational perspective and responded to rapidly.  The PMO is where project and program standards, procedures, policies and reporting are established.  
Business Gate  defined milestone in a project lifecycle when specific requirements must be met in order to make or validate business decisions relating to the project.  
Lock-Down The milestone in a project schedule achieved when agreement exists between the Performing Organizations and the Contracting Organizations for the delivery of a defined project scope of work within a defined schedule at a defined cost.   
Management Phase Review

An event associated with selected business gates where specific decisions concerning the project are made by appropriate levels of management.  Deviations in deliverables or timeframe are handled by convening the Gate 6 Review Board. This group will make any decisions concerning scope, cost, and schedule tradeoffs.  These business gates are:  

  • G-11: Project Strategy Lock-Down  

  • G-10: Requirements Scope Lock-Down  

  • G-6: Project Lock-Down  

  • G-4: Begin Validation  

  • G-2: Begin FOA  

  • G-0: General Availability  

SDLC Business Gates The foundation is Program/Project Management in the SDLC Business Gates.  This Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) begins at project initiation and moves through deployment to the production environment.  
Phase A collection of logically related project activities, usually culminating in the completion of a major deliverable. The conclusion of a project phase is generally marked by a review of both key deliverables and project performance in order to determine if the project should continue into its next phase as defined or with modifications or be terminated and to detect and correct errors cost effectively.  
Program A defined set of projects containing common dependencies, and/or resources and/or objectives overseen by a Program Manager
Project  A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product or service. A project has a defined scope of work (unique product or service), a time constraint within which the project objectives must be completed (temporary) and a cost constraint.  In the context of SDLC, a project may be one of:  
  • an individual feature
  • a collection of features making a release
  • a collection of product releases making up a portfolio
  • a new product development
System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) A predictable series of phases through which a new information system progresses from conception to implementation.  All of the activities involved with creating and operating an information system, from the planning phase and/or the initial concept to the point at which the system is installed in a production environment.  The major phases are Release Planning, Definition (Requirements and Specifications), Development, Test (Validation), and Deployment.  



1. Process Flow Diagrams 


Service License Agreement (SLA) Overview


















  Click Image to Enlarge



2. Roles and Responsibilities

Role Responsibility

Product Design Group

The Product Design Group is the client-facing area in product that prototypes and mock-ups client specifications, reaches consensus with clients on requirements, and insures that requirements are delivered as defined in the Scope of Work document.

Program Manager

The Program Manager is the point individual in the Engineering Department who oversees one or more releases from inception through delivery of the solution by the Engineering Department

Project Manager

The Project Manager is the point individual in the Product Department who oversees one or more releases from inception through delivery into production.

Project Sponsor

The Project Sponsor is assigned by Senior Management during the concept phase and is responsible for all project start-up activities. The Project Sponsor must be a member of Senior Management, as this person needs to get backing, commitment and support from top-level management.  The Project Sponsor develops a release strategy (project strategy) which includes a timeline, research and development budget, affordability percentage, service requests to be included, and any additional anchor objectives. The Project Sponsor is empowered by Senior Management to arbitrate amongst projects for resources, commit the organization to specific deliverables and timeframes, and facilitate resolution of obstacles to the successful completion of a release.

Senior Management

Senior Management is the executive management team at SDLC.  They establish business strategy and commission projects.



3. Metrics

Metric Description

Service Delivery Against Terms

The delivery of service is measured against the terms defined in the SLA for each product/project.

SLA Measurements

Specific metrics defined for each SLA such as the amount of time to respond to a call, turn a call over to domain expertise or resolve a call. Any or all of these metrics may be incorporated in one SLA even though they may not be required in another.




4. Procedure Activities


The design and implementation of corporate, product and/or project SLAs can extend to activities prior to Gate 12 (Project Start) and after Gate 0 (General Availability). An SLA provides detailed descriptions of service to provide to customers for a product or service. A corporate SLA may be a general description of the services provided for all projects or it may provide “tiered” service levels. Product/project SLAs would include project-specific service descriptions tailored to the functionality present in one or more deliverables.

Gate/Activity Description



  Click Image to Enlarge


Establish corporate support requirements for a boilerplate SLA. A corporate SLA may be an overview document detailing the goals of service or a specific agreement for a particular product or project. The general requirements for an SLA include a statement of service offerings including:

  • Description of Services or Groups (Tiers) of Services

  • Schedule of Services Availability (24x7 or Days and Hours)

Operations, Product Development and Governance

These groups work with Operations to establish initial service requirements. Through Gates 12, 11, and 10 these requirements are refined.  The requirements for an SLA are established by:

  • Infrastructure Analysis

  • System Analysis

  • Data Analysis

  • Process Analysis

  • Organization Analysis

  • Business Environment Analysis

Note: Use the work sheet in Appendix A to document  requirements and descriptions for each SLA service.

Operations and Product Development

As business requirements are established in the Product Development organization, SLA measurement requirements are established to match them. The specific activities include:

  • Identify Services & Activities

  • Consult end-user community and/or domain expertise

  • Prepare Service Definitions

  • Design SLA draft or amend an existing SLA

  • Prepare service level options

  • Develop initial implementation plans


The System Requirements established by Product Management are incorporated into the SLA as they become available (Gate 8). The content of the SLA is locked down at Gate 6 along with the other project documentation. Prior to this gate, the content of the SLA is contributed to by the execution of the Procurement (SOP 1004), Asset Management (SOP 1007) and Capacity Management (SOP102) procedures.


The SLA is reviewed and approved at Gate 4 by the Governance function and review board. Additional review for project-specific SLAs may be requested/required by the client.


Once the SLA is approved, operations documentation must be completed that meet the requirements established in the SLA. If necessary, tools and additional procedures must also be implemented to meet the requirements established in the SLA.


Once the application is released for FOA (Client Evaluation) or Beta testing  (Gate 2) or general availability (Gate 0), the operation of the support function and its adherence to the SLA is monitored as per the Site Monitoring and Problem Management Procedure (SOP 1010).

Note: SLA Non-compliance issues identified during site monitoring may be required to be escalated to the Governance and/or Product Management functions



5. Forms

Form Description

Service Level Agreement Worksheet

See Appendix A



6. Exceptions

  • None at this time


7. Tools/Software/Technology Used


Tool Description

MS Word

Word Processing

MS Excel



8. Attachments