Axia Consultants : (Service Level Agreement) Metrics

Tips for creating SLA metrics and measuring service performance

Build performance measurement into your SLA, when you set it up – consider the following points:

  1. Identify the most important SLA outcomes first – and then determine clear metrics to track those outcomes.
  1. Create a range of (say 10) simple metrics, such as targets, kpi’s (key performance indicators), that are easily understandable.
  1. Ensure the metrics are relevant and match the key business needs of your SLA.
  1. Clearly, the metrics should also be measurable/quantifiable and unambiguous.
  1. Base your metrics on your specific SLA requirements and needs – rather than readily available data, existing reports, or generic SLA metrics applicable for such services.
  1. Design the metrics to measure different performance problems that your SLA / service provider may have.
  1. Metrics should be mutually exclusive and not duplicate each other. Each metric should focus on a different potential problem.
  1. The metrics should be comprehensive enough, such that if your service provider fails to meet the required performance, at least one of the metrics will be triggered.
  1. Review and test the metrics, to confirm they will pick up the undesirable problems.
  1. Agree the metrics between both parties – service provider and customer
  1. For each Service Level metric include:
  • a reference name
  • a description
  • measurement parameters eg data sources
  • calculation formula and frequency
  • a baseline performance
  • the required performance or target, from a service provider
  • remedies and penalties for poor or non-performance eg monetary credits
  • any specific exclusions/exceptions


  1. Set up an automatic monitoring of the metrics, wherever possible.
  1. Set up alerts for exception reporting.
  1. Monitor performance (metrics) on a regular basis. Make it one of your regular daily or weekly tasks.
  1. Raise any performance issues at your regular service review meetings.
  1. Review metrics and when required amend them, to ensure they continue to be relevant to your service needs.

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