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Checklist: what to include in an Operational Level Agreement

what to consider when creating an OLA document

An Operational Level Agreement (OLA) must contain the key elements that will provide necessary, clear guidance on responsibilities, service levels, and collaboration between different operational teams or departments within an organization. These elements may vary based on the nature of the services and the organizational structure, but here are some common key elements to include in an OLA:

  1. Service Scope and Description:
    • Clearly define the scope of the services covered by the OLA. Provide a brief description of the services, including any specific features or characteristics that are relevant.
  2. Service Levels and Metrics:
    • Outline the agreed-upon service levels and performance metrics. This may include response times, resolution times, availability targets, and other key indicators relevant to the services covered by the agreement.
  3. Roles and Responsibilities:
    • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each operational team or department involved in the service delivery. Specify who is responsible for what, ensuring that there is no ambiguity about individual and collective contributions.
  4. Dependencies and Relationships:
    • Identify and document any dependencies or relationships between different operational teams. This is crucial for understanding how the work of one team may impact or rely on the work of another.
  5. Communication Protocols:
    • Define communication protocols, including how teams will communicate with each other and how information will be shared. This helps streamline communication and ensures that relevant parties are kept informed.
  6. Escalation Procedures:
    • Outline escalation procedures for issues that cannot be resolved at the operational level. Specify the steps and individuals involved in escalating matters to higher levels of management or other teams.
  7. Review and Revision Process:
    • Include a section on how the OLA will be reviewed and, if necessary, revised. Regular reviews ensure that the agreement remains aligned with the evolving needs of the organization and its services.
  8. Performance Monitoring and Reporting:
    • Describe how performance will be monitored and reported. This includes the frequency of performance reviews, the format of performance reports, and the responsible parties for monitoring and reporting.
  9. Service Improvement Initiatives:
    • If applicable, include provisions for service improvement initiatives. This could involve setting goals for continuous improvement and specifying how teams will work together to enhance service delivery over time.
  10. Service Outage and Incident Response:
    • Provide details on how service outages and incidents will be handled. Include information on incident response times, communication procedures during outages, and the roles of each team in resolving incidents.
  11. Service Continuity and Disaster Recovery:
    • If relevant, address service continuity and disaster recovery measures. Specify the roles and responsibilities of each team in ensuring the continuity of services in the event of disruptions.
  12. Document Control and Versioning:
    • Establish a process for document control and versioning to ensure that all stakeholders are working with the most current version of the OLA.
  13. Signatures and Approvals:
    • Include spaces for signatures and approvals from representatives of each involved operational team. This formalizes the commitment to the terms and conditions outlined in the OLA.

Make sure you include these key elements by using this Operational Level Agreement checklist. It will help you to create a comprehensive and well-structured document that promotes clarity, collaboration, and effective service delivery among different operational teams.

More resources for the OLA Business document:


A Operational Level Agreement template and example. Edit the template to personalise it for your requirements. The template can be downloaded as a PDF, InDesign or Word file.

Service Level Agreement (SLA) document template >

Definition & Purpose: operational level agreement

Commonly used in the realm of IT Service Management (ITSM) and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) practices, an Operational Level Agreement (OLA) is a type of agreement that defines the responsibilities, relationships, and expectations between different internal teams or departments within an organization.

More on what to include in your OLA document >