SLA ServiceNow

In ServiceNow, the Service Level Agreement, or SLA, is crucial.  To achieve enterprise improvement and meet the client's needs, all employees in the organization must maintain and ensure that the SLAs assigned to each task or activity are met. In this blog, you'll learn in detail about ServiceNow SLA from the basics to advanced.

Service Level Management (SLM) keeps track of service standards, publishes reports, and conducts customer reviews on a regular basis. In addition, all information supplied in a Service Level Agreement (SLA) must be measurable, and the terminology used must be clear and concise to aid understanding.

SLA ServiceNow - Table of Content

What is SLA in ServiceNow?

Service Level Agreement, or SLA, is a contract between a service provider and its internal or external clients. SLA also refers to the agreement establishing the parameters through which task SLAs are built and progressed, such as timings, conditions, procedures, and other related factors. 

SLA adds contractual duty for supplying your service within a specific timeframe in ServiceNow and in general - it's unquestionably a binding aspect of the customer contract. The SLA setup primarily affects Incident Management and Service Request Fulfillment from the Support Team's perspective.

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What is Task SLA?

A Task SLA record is created when an SLA Definition is triggered against a specific task, and it contains all of the tracking data for that SLA. For example, if an SLA Definition for P1 incidents exists, a Task SLA record will be connected to the P1 incident record, collecting all of the data associated with it. Multiple Task SLA entries are frequently combined with a single task because many definitions apply.

Designing SLA Structures

In-Service Level Management, there are various ways to arrange your SLAs. A few essential factors that are taken into account are:

  • Is it possible to give different service levels for multiple clients using the SLA structure?
  • Is there a lot of duplicating work in the SLA structure?
  • Who will sign the service level agreements (SLAs)?
  • The three approaches for structuring ITIL's SLA are service-based, customer-based, and multi-level or hierarchical SLAs. When choosing an acceptable SLA structure for a company, several criteria must be considered.

Types of SLA

Corporate, Customer, and Service levels are the three types of SLAs offered.

Corporate Level:

All of the organization's general challenges are addressed and consistent across the board. For example, with an organization-wide security SLA, each employee must create 8-character passwords that must be changed every thirty days, or each employee must have an access card with an imprinted photograph.

Customer Level:

It is possible to address unique difficulties to a customer. One or more departments within the company have more stringent security standards. Because of its critical position and management of financial resources, the finance department, for example, requires increased top-level protection.

Service Level:

The standard of service SLA covers all aspects necessary to a particular service regarding the client. This applies to all clients who have signed up for the same service. FOR EXAMPLE, contracting IT support services for everyone who utilizes a specific IP telephone provider.

Using a multi-level structure lowers duplicating effort for large enterprises while offering customization for consumers and services. As a result, corporate-level SLAs apply to every employee and department in the company, but customer-level SLAs apply exclusively to the department, and so on.

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Example of SLA Document

An SLA document often contains the components of the service that have been agreed upon between the service provider and the service user, such as responsibilities, quality, and availability. As a result, you must ensure that you deliver the goods on time. The following points are included in the document:

  • What does this agreement suggest, according to the SLA?
  • A description of the service and information on the service that SLA supports.
  • Who is responsible for what aspect of the service, and who is responsible for whom?
  • SLA's Purpose
  • Service hours in effect, from when and until when is the service available by the contract?
  • How much service is offered during and outside of the service window?
  • Reliability.
  • Plans for customer service.
  • A communication matrix; contact points, and escalation
  • The quality of the service
  • Security.
  • The cost of the service and the form of payment that was used.

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Monitoring Service Level Agreement

The mechanisms through which the level of service specified in a service level agreement, or SLA, is monitored and documented to verify compliance with the contract's stated requirements are known as service-level monitoring and reporting.

The contracting organization or a third party specializing in this type of activity may be in charge of monitoring and reporting. It's advantageous since it gives the contractor another method to get paid for keeping their half of the bargain. It also informs the contracting party whether the contractor has met, surpassed, or fallen short of the agreed-upon targets, with penalties or bonuses imposed if necessary.

Example of Service Level Agreement Process

Depending on the information defined for that SLA in the relevant SLA specification, the SLA can modify the stage when work is completed on the suitable job. When an issue is addressed within the stated time frame, the SLA stage value is usually set to "Complete." In the same way, if the event does not attain the required condition within the specified period, the Task SLA record for that incident will be recorded as "Has Breached." For example, if a P1 issue is not addressed within 8 hours, the "Has Breached" value in the Task SLA for that incident is set to "true."

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Steps to process an SLA using Servicenow

Go to "Incident -> Create New" to start a new incident.
Set "Impact" and "Urgency" to "1." The "Priority" value is now "1 - Critical."
Fill out the form and save it.

This incident will now have a Priority 1 SLA tied to the Task SLA Related List.

This Task SLA was created and attached using the essential Priority 1 resolution (8 hours) SLA definition record.

Save the form after changing the option "Impact" to "2," which changes the "Priority" value to "2 - High."

Because of the requirements on the SLAs, the Priority 1 SLA will now be recorded as "Cancelled," and a Priority 2 SLA will be appended.

Then save the form after changing the "Incident State" to "Awaiting User Info."

The Priority 2 SLA is marked "Paused" since the "Awaiting User Info" condition is a "Pause" condition.

Note that the Task SLA's pause time is only updated after the SLA is no longer paused.

Then save the form after changing the "Incident State" field to "Active."

This is because the incident is no longer on "Pause," and the timing has resumed.

In the Closure Information section of the incident, enter any Close codes and Close notes values.
Then save the form by changing the "Incident State" field to "Resolved."

Difference between Response SLA and Resolution SLA

Response SLA:

During this procedure, the SLA runs when a specific ticket is allocated to a group or a manager. That is, once a ticket is assigned to a particular group or individual, the SLA runs, and the user receives notification that their ticket has been assigned to a specific individual or group.

Resolution SLA:

The time when a client initially opens access and when it is resolved is typically referred to as resolution time (i.e., closed). Resolution SLAs, unlike ticket responses, calculate due dates based on the status of tickets. Based on the task priorities, you can establish ticket resolution times.

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SLA Conditions

SLA conditions regulate when a task SLA record is attached, interrupted, started, reset, canceled, or completed. You can provide up to six criteria evaluated in the SLA definition whenever a task record is created or updated. The start and stop criteria must match an SLA linked to a job.

There are six SLA conditions you can set: start, cancel, pause, resume, stop, and reset. SLA conditions work in the following ways:

Start Condition:

This allows you to specify the conditions for attaching the SLA.

  • The conditions under which the SLA will be canceled can be selected from the When to cancel list.
  • The SLA will be compensated if one or more specified start circumstances change. The option "Start criteria are not met" is chosen by default.
  • If the conditions for cancellation are met, the following options are available: The start condition must be completed only once, and the SLA will only be canceled if the cancel condition is met after that.
  • Option 1: Never. The SLA will not be forgotten anytime soon.
  • Select a date and time field from the job to specify the task SLA's start time. The Set start to the area appears when the Retroactive start check box is ticked, and the date and time fields on the task type to which this SLA definition applies are accessible. If you select Created in the Set, start to the field on a Priority 1 SLA definition and then pick Retroactive start on a Priority 1 SLA definition.
  • The SLA is associated with the date and time from the Incident's Created field, the start time.

Pause Condition:

This allows you to specify the conditions under which the SLA will stop increasing the amount of time that has passed.

You can select the conditions under which the SLA will resume growing elapsed time from the When to resume list.

  • Pause conditions are not met option: If one or more of the stated pause conditions are no longer met, the elapsed time will continue to grow. By default, the Pause criteria are not met option is chosen.
  • Resume conditions are met opportunity: If one or more of the stated resume conditions are met, the elapsed time will keep increasing.

Resume Condition: 

This allows you to specify the circumstances in which the SLA will resume expanding the amount of time that has passed. You can also set the restart requirements simultaneously when you describe the pause conditions.

Stop Condition: 

This allows you to specify the circumstances in which the SLA should be completed. The task SLA will be complete regardless of whether it is breached if all the given stop conditions match.

Reset Condition: 

This allows you to indicate when an existing service level agreement (SLA) is met when a new SLA is added. For a new SLA to be linked, its start condition must match.

When the value of any defined field on a task record changes, changes to, or changes from a specific value, the reset condition can be used to aid in the design of SLAs. For instance, the Location field in the Task Record is set to 101 Broadway East, Seattle, WA. If the SLA reset condition is defined as Location changes from 101 Broadway East, Seattle, WA, then any change in the Location field value resets the task record's SLA.

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SLA Stages in ServiceNow

In SLA ServiceNow, six stages are explained as follows:

1. In Progress stage: 

It says that the SLA computation is in progress, which means that if the SLA is applied to an incident, it is not yet resolved or closed.

2. Achieved stage: 

It states that the assignment was finished on time as agreed. If the attached SLA is 24 hours, the assignment was finished within that time frame.

3. Breached stage: 

It claims that SLA is still in progress after the agreed-upon period has gone.

4. Canceled stage: 

It claims that the SLA has been canceled. For example, if the incident priority changes from P1 to P3, the SLA for the P1 priority is terminated, and a new SLA for the P3 priority is attached.

5. Pause stage: 

As shown in the example above, when we are assigned to put an incident ticket or job on hold, we normally put SLA on hold. Alternatively, in other words, whatever condition is specified in the SLA stopped condition section, SLA is halted as a result of that situation.

6. Completed:

The SLA time computation is halted until the condition to resume is met.

Difference between actual elapsed time and business elapsed time ServiceNow:

Actual elapsed and Business elapsed are two types of timing information found in Task SLA records. The distinction between these two timing sets is critical when creating and reporting on SLA definitions.

Actual elapsed time:

Actual elapsed times are calculated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Business elapsed time:

The task SLA's schedule is used to determine business elapsed values. By default, the timetable is derived from the SLA definition.

The task SLA record's associated list only shows the actual elapsed time by default. The list can be customized to show the amount of time since the business started.

Retroactive Start and Retroactive Pause: 

Retroactive Start

A new SLA with new time information is frequently associated with a modified task record. If you want to attach a new SLA record with new timing information when reassigning an issue to a different group, this is a good choice.

Task SLAs will likely be exceeded as soon as they're attached if you enable retroactive start, resulting in many notifications. The com.snc.sla.workflow property should be set. To stop the workflow from being completed for certain SLAs that have been breached set the run for breached property to false.

Retroactive Pause

When retroactive start for SLA definitions is enabled, retroactive pause prohibits immediate violations and alerts.

A task record is frequently associated with a new SLA and a new time information set. This is handy if you're reassigning an incident to a different group and want to attach a new SLA record with updated timing information.


Understanding the ideas of Service Level Management and Service Level Agreement structure can help your company deliver on its commitments. By setting SLAs in ServiceNow, you will get the power to build and manage service solutions, ensuring that your company and its customers can communicate more effectively to meet common needs. We hope this blog is helpful for you in understanding ServiceNow in SLA, which benefits you and your firm.

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Last updated: 04 Apr 2023
About Author


Madhuri is a Senior Content Creator at MindMajix. She has written about a range of different topics on various technologies, which include, Splunk, Tensorflow, Selenium, and CEH. She spends most of her time researching on technology, and startups. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter .

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