SLA vs KPI: Service Level Agreements vs. Key Performance Indicators
What is the difference between Service Level Agreement measurements and Key Performance Indicators? Well, although sometimes they are referred to as synonyms, there are a few differences.
Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an agreement between two parties regarding a particular service. Apparently SLA must contain quantitative measurements that:
- Represent a desired and mutually agreed state of a service
- Provide additional boundaries of a service scope (in addition to the agreement itself)
- Describe agreed and guaranteed minimal service performance
- Efficiency and effectiveness of a service
- Service operation status.
If you have many customers for a service then SLAs may vary from customer to customer; however KPIs usually are common for a service.
Let us take a few examples that outline the differences. Consider a help desk service.
- SLA examples (for a particular customer): reaction time, resolution time, compliance to agreed deadlines
- KPI examples (organization or service oriented): average reaction time for all customers, service desk employee load, incoming ticket volume trend, required capacity to fulfil SLA promises to customers