Defining and differentiating SLA’s using service levels Gold, Silver and Bronze

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On every implementation of ServiceNow we get to the point we start talking about implementing SLA’s. When I ask: “Do you have SLA’s defined”? I always hear; “Of course we have”. However, the difficulty is always to get a clear understanding of the definitions needed to configure ServiceNow.

In this blog I will explain how SLA’s can be defined with the help of a simple template and how you can differentiate your SLA’s using Service Levels gold, silver and bronze based on the selected CI on your Incident record.

Defining your SLA’s

The first step before you can start configuring your SLA’s in ServiceNow is to make clear definitions of the SLA’s you would like to run against i.e. your Incident record. I use the table below as a starting point with some examples for a reaction time and resolution time SLA. As you can see you need to know when to start, pause and stop an SLA and for how long you want it to be running in order to achieve your SLA.

Create possibility to define SLA level’s on CI’s

Since I would like to differentiate between service levels gold, silver and bronze based on the selected CI on the Incident ticket, I also include the SLA level as a start condition. Before you can define these conditions in ServiceNow you’ll need to create a dropdown list first, because the SLA level isn’t an out-of-the-box option. You can do this by creating a new dictionary entry in the table Configuration Item (cmdb_ci).

Go to System Definition -> Dictionary.
Create a new dictionary entry called “SLA level” in the table “Configuration Item”

Click Submit

You can see that your dictionary entry is created.

In this example I assume that Incident tickets are registered on Business Services, so I will add the dropdown field we’ve just created only to CI’s in the class Business Service. Open a Business Service and personalize the form by adding the field “SLA level” to the form.

Since the choice list doesn’t contain any choices yet, you’ll need to personalize the choices.

Add the values you need and click Save

Since the field is mandatory, you will need to select a value from this choice list from now on.

You’ll need to select a value bronze, silver or gold on every CI you wish to include in your SLA calculation.

Create definitions in ServiceNow’s Service Level Management application

Now you’re ready to define your SLA’s in ServiceNow’s SLA Definitions based on the information in the example template used earlier (I will only show definitions for resolution time priority 1 SLA’s).

As you can see in the screenshots below I will use the value in the field “SLA level” as a start condition for the SLA.


Test your SLA definitions

When recording an Incident ticket on a Business Service, you can hover over the more information icon behind the field Configuration Item to see which SLA level is attached.

Incident ticket with a Business Service -> SLA level: Silver
Incident ticket with a Business Service -> SLA level: Gold

Based on the selected Business Service in the field Configuration Item on your Incident form a different SLA will be fired off based on the Service level registered on that Business Service.

SLA started at Bronze.
As soon as CI changes to a Business Service with a Silver level, the running SLA will be canceled and a new one is fired off. Notice the same start time of the SLA. This is because of the retroactive start.
The CI is changed to a Business Service containing a Gold SLA level.
SLA completed successfully within the agreed time period.

In this example I only calculated with a priority 1 incident and the differences in SLA were only based on the SLA level of the Business Service. Of course you can also add SLA definitions based on the same principle for other priorities or CI classes.

This same solution can be used if you offer services to multiple companies with different SLA levels. In that case you might want to add the field SLA Level to the company record (core_company) instead of the Business Service and use that as a start condition for your SLA’s.

If you have any questions regarding this subject please feel free to contact me at:

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