What are OLAs? Operational Level Agreements Explained (2023)


What are OLAs? Operational Level Agreements Explained (1)

What are OLAs? Operational Level Agreements Explained (2)

9 January 2018

5 minute of reading

Esteban Watt

In today's technology-driven market, the offering offerssenior IT service managementrepresents a requirement. Therefore, companies must monitor the key performance indicators of the company infrastructure and services, all of which are defined in:

  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
  • Operational Level Agreements (OLAs)
  • Support Contracts (UCs)

However, you must do this in a way that maximizes IT productivity and keeps costs down. Let's take a look at these three and then dive deeper into the OLAs in particular.


  • Service Level Agreementsare external agreements between aservice providerand a customer Enable your organization to track performance and progress against customer commitments as defined in SLAs. The contract can consist of one or more performance targets. Service goals can define penalties for breaking an agreement or rewards for meeting and exceeding specific goals.
  • Company level agreements(aka Operational Level Agreements) are internal agreements that a service provider puts in place for internal users to meet SLAs. OLAs can also contain one or more service goals or objectives. The OLAs would be used to track internal service commitments such as B. the following service objectives:
    • Response time to incidents or problems assigned to IT groups
    • Availability of servers supporting multiple applications
  • underlying contractsThey are agreements used to track performance between a third party and a vendor.

The graphic below shows how the three obligations interact:

What are OLAs? Operational Level Agreements Explained (3)

(Video) ITSM - Service Level Agreements vs Operational Level Agreements - ITIL OLAs Principles and Concepts

The main difference between OLA and SLA is that they represent different obligations:

  • The SLA underscores a commitment to the customer/consumer.
  • The OLA emphasizes engagement with the organization's internal groups.

Also, compared to an SLA, OLA typically has a smaller audience, with more detail on the technical aspects of the issue or service.


noITILmiITSM-Frameworksan OLA represents the relationship between an IT service provider and another part of the IT organization. Describes operational-level relationships, including those between:

  • table service
  • self-help groups)
  • resolution of incidents
  • network administration
  • manager

All of these relationships are captured in a document, typically owned by the service management team.

Components of a WAVE

At the most basic level, the OLA acts as a document that serves as a record between the parties:


The overview does three important things:

  • Reaffirms the purpose of the agreement between the parties
  • Describe the purpose of the agreement.
  • Mark the goals of the document.


This section lists all stakeholders involved and includes their names, titles, and roles.

Service and Fees

This part of the document contains:

  • The agreed scope of work (SOW)
  • Client requirements
  • General Terms of Service
  • Office hours and opening hours

Roles and responsibilities of the service provider

This identifies all the internal or external service providers involved and describes their responsibilities in detail.

Coverage times, response times and escalations

Uptime and scaling policies are discussed in detail here. This section covers a few main topics:

  • applications
  • service requests
  • event management
  • Problemmanagement
  • maintenance service/change management
  • Service Exceptions

Reports, Review and Audit

This section relates to the term of the SLO and provides a schedule or schedule for audits, reviews and reports.

SLA mandates for OLA

Assembling an OLA is time consuming as it requires precision, attention to detail and knowledge of how an OLA maps to an SLA.

The SLA body requires a few things regarding an OLA:

  • Rules for changes to the OLA
  • How OLA change requests are submitted
  • Rules for closing a WAVE
  • OLA-Revisionsintervalle

It is important to note that these mandates do not cover how SLAs themselves are structured. See our previous post onBest practices for creating SLAsfor more details on this aspect.

(Video) What is OLA |Operational level Agreement | OLA vs SLA

Best practices for writing an OLA

When writing or creating an OLA, consider the following best practices:

  • Describe the purpose of the document in 1-2 paragraphs.
  • List all parties (individuals and companies) involved in service management and SLA compliance.
  • A contract must contain a compliance objective and at least one service objective. Optionally, a contract can contain one or more milestones, with each milestone having one or more actions associated with it.
  • Add detailed information about current challenges and how OLA will address them.
  • Describe the communication methods that the parties must adhere to during the life of the SLO.
  • Describe the service operation in full, including operating and service times.
  • Includes terms and conditions.
  • Indicate the authority of each signer of the document.
  • If necessary, add attachments with additional information.

OLAs and multisourcing

Structuring of OLA withina multi-source environmentit is inherently more complex than creating them within a single organization. However, you can avoid the common pitfalls of multi-source OLAs by implementing the following strategies:

  • Create an internal OLA.This should be a top priority in a multi-source environment to ensure a culture of accountability is established within the internal IT organization.
  • define expectations.Understand that every relationship is different and comes with its own set of challenges.
  • Control the process.The OLA should chart the path to achieving the organization's service delivery requirements without the possibility of interference from service providers who may have their own goals.
  • Discuss OLAs early and often with service providers.Don't wait until the RFP process to mention it.
  • take possession.Make sure you are accountable to your customers at all times.
  • If necessary.Include specific interactions in the OLA language.
  • Evaluate performance routinely.Use OLA reports and metrics to shape best practices.

WAVE preparation

How do you know if your organization is ready to use OLA to maximize collaboration between internal and external teams? The short answer is that if you're working with clients, it's time to improve your OLA experience using the tips above.

There are also considerations to be made when deciding whether to use OLA for internal pools or multi-source providers:

  • Do you need the cooperation of several operating groups when looking after customers?
  • If you provide services to customers, does this require vendor involvement or administrative procedures?
  • Do you have SLAs with customers to improve your business model and service delivery?

OLAs: Keys for business organizations

Operational Level Agreements are sometimes confused with Service Level Agreements because of their interconnectedness. However, it is important to understand the difference between the two as it ensures that all internal and external resources are on the same page when it comes to delivering services to the end user.

In general, OLAs serve as excellent tools for business organizations that have opted for themdigital Transformationvon:

  • Ensure a consistent level of quality in a multi-vendor environment
  • Provide transparency for all levels of the organization and for the customer.
  • Set accountability standards for all stakeholders

related reading

  • IT-Service-Management-Blog
  • SLA vs OLA: What's the difference?
  • What are XLAs? Experience level agreements explained
  • An introduction to Service Level Indicator (SLI) metrics

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About the author

What are OLAs? Operational Level Agreements Explained (11)

Esteban Watt

Stephen Watts (Birmingham, Alabama)Contributes to a variety of publications, includingDiary of the Seeker,ITSM.Tools,IT Chronicles,Zone D, miCompTIA.

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What is operational level agreement? ›

An operational level agreement (OLA) is a contract that defines how various IT groups within a company plan to deliver a service or set of services.

What are service level agreements SLAs and operational level agreements OLAs? ›

Definition: The Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an agreement between an IT service provider and a customer. The Operational Level Agreement (OLA) is an agreement between an IT service provider and another part of the same organization, governing the delivery of a infrastructure service.

Which is the best description of an Operational Level Agreement OLA? ›

The purpose of this Operational Level Agreement (“OLA” or “Agreement”) is to ensure that the proper elements and commitments are in place to provide consistent service support and delivery by the Service Provider(s). The goal of this Agreement is to obtain mutual agreement for service provision between ITS units.

Which is an example of an operational level agreement OLA )? ›

An Operational Level Agreement (OLA) is an agreement covering the delivery of services supporting an IT organization in its delivery of services. An OLA may also be between two parts of the same IT Service Provider. For example between the Service Desk and a Support Group.

What is the purpose of OLA? ›

The Ola app offers mobility solutions by connecting customers to drivers and a wide range of vehicles across bikes, auto-rickshaws, metered taxis, and cabs, enabling convenience and transparency for hundreds of millions of consumers and over 1.5 million driver-partners.

What is the ITIL definition for OLA? ›

The ITIL definition of an OLA is “an agreement between an IT service provider and another part of the same organization. An OLA supports the IT service provider's delivery of IT services to customers.

What is an example of operational level? ›

Examples of operational-level systems include a system to record bank deposits from ATM (Automatic Teller Machines) or one that tracks the number of hours worked each day by employees on a factory floor.

Which of the following best describes an operational level agreement? ›

Operational Level Agreements (also known as Operating Level Agreements) are internal agreements that a service provider defines for internal users to meet SLAs. OLAs can also contain one or more objectives or service targets.

What does an OLA include? ›

An OLA often includes hours of operation, responsibilities, authorities, response times, supported systems, etc. OLAs tend to be more technical than in SLAs since they define IT supporting IT. Not every SLA requires unique OLAs, and just a few key OLAs can help resolve the silo problem.

What is the purpose of operational level? ›

The Operational level focuses on short term decision making. You'll be able to work with others in your organisation and use appropriate data and technology to translate medium term decisions into short term actionable plans.

What are the benefits of operational level agreement? ›

The purpose of an OLA is to ensure that all involved parties understand their obligations in supporting the customer. This type of agreement can help to avoid misunderstandings and disputes down the road. An OLA should be specific to the needs of the customer and the service being provided.

What does OLA mean in inventory? ›

Online-availability (OLA) is a metric that has the same meaning as OSA, but that is applied in the context of online sales. Out-of-Stock is a problem that leads to a poor customer experience that results in decreased customer loyalty and lost sales. If the item is unavailable, customers will simply find a substitute.

What is OLA in project management? ›

The Operational Level Agreement (OLA) document describes role and responsibilities and costs of supporting the live Service. The OLA continues on beyond the project closure as a 'living' document for the Service.

What is the advantage of Ola? ›

Availability of cab for 24*7, GPS tracking facility are also considered as major benefits of this. AC/Non AC, choice for type of vehicle, application based booking, these are the improved facilities which made Ola and Uber cab operators a competitive edge over the traditional transport facilities.

How do you answer Ola? ›

This phrase means “how are you?” and can be used not only to find out how somebody is feeling, but can also be used as a way to say hello. If in passing someone says “hola!” to you, it would acceptable to reply: “como estas?

What services does Ola offer? ›

  • Comfort. Quality assured, private hire vehicles for up to 3 people.
  • Comfort XL. Larger, private hire vehicles for extra luggage or up to 5 people.
  • Executive. A premium ride for your special moments.
  • Taxi. Local, metered taxis, so you pay the fare on the meter with no surging at any time.

What is ITIL in simple terms? ›

ITIL, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a well-known set of IT best practices designed to assist businesses in aligning their IT services with customer and business needs. Services include IT-related assets, accessibility, and resources that deliver value and benefits to customers.

What is the meaning of ITIL and explain? ›

Information technology infrastructure library (ITIL) is a series of practices in IT Service Management (ITSM) for aligning operations and services.

What's the difference between OLA and SLA? ›


When taking about the two, OLA refers to the operational level of agreement, and SLA refers to the service level of agreement. SLA focuses on the service part of agreement, like the uptime of services and performance. On the other hand, OLA is an agreement in respect to maintenance and other services.

What is an operational definition explain and give examples? ›

a description of something in terms of the operations (procedures, actions, or processes) by which it could be observed and measured. For example, the operational definition of anxiety could be in terms of a test score, withdrawal from a situation, or activation of the sympathetic nervous system.

Which is the best example of an operational definition? ›

An Operational Definition is the definition of a variable in terms of the operations or techniques used to measure or manipulate it. Examples: -"Height" as defined by the number of feet/inches a person is tall.

What are the three levels of operations? ›

Levels of Operations Management

Operations management includes three levels: strategic, tactical, and operational.

What are operational level strategies? ›

An operations strategy refers to the system an organization implements to achieve its long-term goals and mission. It involves decisions based on multiple factors, including product management, supply chain, inventory, forecasting, scheduling, quality, and facilities planning and management.

What is the process of Ola? ›

Step 1: Firstly, you need to install an Ola app on your mobile phone. Step 2: After that, create an account using a phone number or email. Step 3: One time password (OTP) will be sent to your number. It will auto detect or else you have to enter the OTP.

How does Ola business work? ›

Ola charges percentage commission from the trips being carried out through its platform. It charges trip fares from customers through several factors (below), some of these factors are applicable based on location, car type, etc.

Why is IT important to have an operational plan give three importance? ›

Without an operational plan, you're out of the league. Being able to update and refer to a plan enables comprehensive understanding of goals. An operational plan ensures you can identify areas that aren't generating as much revenue as they should, or are causing losses, and can help you establish what needs to change.

What are the 4 types of inventory? ›

There are four main types of inventory: raw materials/components, WIP, finished goods and MRO.

What is the valuation of Ola? ›

January 24th, 2022: Ola Electric, India's leading manufacturer of EVs, today announced it has raised over $200 million from Tekne Private Ventures, Alpine Opportunity Fund, Edelweiss and others. The latest round values the company at $5 billion.

Why is IT called Ola? ›

The name Ola was taken from the Spanish word "Hola" which says "Hello". So, by this, the owners want to say that their services are easy and gracious. There are more people who helped Bhavish and Ankit in fulfilling their dream project.

What is operational level agreement in ITIL? ›


In ITIL and ITSM frameworks, an OLA represents the relationship between an IT Service Provider and another part of the IT organization. It describes relationships at the operational level, including those between: Service Desk. Support Group(s) Incident Resolution.

What are the 3 types of SLA? ›

There are three basic types of SLAs: customer, internal and multilevel service-level agreements. A customer service-level agreement is between a service provider and its external customers.

What are the benefits of Operational Level Agreement? ›

The purpose of an OLA is to ensure that all involved parties understand their obligations in supporting the customer. This type of agreement can help to avoid misunderstandings and disputes down the road. An OLA should be specific to the needs of the customer and the service being provided.

What is OLA in production? ›

OLA (Operating Level Agreements (OLA) are legal papers that define how the IT service providers and firms intend to deliver a service and measure performance metrics for an internal consumer. An OLA specifies the depth and extent of tasks and obligations assigned to corporate departments.

What is OLA technique? ›

A method to identify a specific oligonucleotide sequence without use of radiochemicals, electrophoresis or centrifugation.

What are the 4 aspects of SLA? ›

The main elements of a good SLA.
  • Overall objectives. The SLA should set out the overall objectives for the services to be provided. ...
  • Description of the Services. The SLA should include a detailed description of the services. ...
  • Performance Standards. ...
  • Compensation/Service Credits. ...
  • Critical Failure.

What are the major key components of SLA? ›

The SLA should include not only a description of the services to be provided and their expected service levels, but also metrics by which the services are measured, the duties and responsibilities of each party, the remedies or penalties for breach, and a protocol for adding and removing metrics.


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