What is a service level agreement (SLA) in agency project management?

Service level agreement (SLA) definition 

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) serves as a formal contract between a service provider (typically the agency) and the client. It delineates the standards and expectations both parties have agreed upon for the delivery of services. SLAs are crucial as they clarify service terms, prevent overservicing, reduce misunderstandings, and serve as a benchmark for performance evaluation.

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Types of SLAs

Diving into the specifics, it's worth noting that not all SLAs are created equal. Depending on the nature of the engagement and the mutual priorities of both parties, different types of SLAs may be employed:

  • Customer-based SLA: An agreement made with an individual customer group, covering all the services they use.

  • Service-based SLA: An agreement for all customers using the services being delivered by the service provider.

  • Multi-level SLA: This splits the agreement into different levels, each addressing different sets of customers for the same services, in various ways.

  • Corporate SLA: It covers all the general issues related to the organization and which are the same across the entire customer base.

What goes into a service level agreement?

Digging deeper, it's essential to grasp the fundamental elements that give an SLA its structure and purpose. Typically, an SLA will comprise:

  1. Service description: Outlines the service's specifics being provided.

  2. Performance metrics: Criteria by which service performance is measured.

  3. Duties and responsibilities: Specifies both the agency's and the client's obligations.

  4. Problem management: Procedures to handle and resolve issues.

  5. Review and audits: The protocol for assessing and amending the agreement.

  6. Penalties and rewards: Consequences for meeting (or not meeting) the established criteria.

  7. Communication protocols: How communication between parties will be handled.

For agencies aiming to streamline their SLA processes and enhance client communication, stands out as an ideal platform. It not only assists in tracking and managing projects but also fosters clear communication, ensuring that the stipulations of the SLA are met efficiently.

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