Advanced SLA Guidelines in Jira and Jira Service Management [2023] (2023)

This article was written by Community Manager Krzysztof DaukszewiczInformation item.

Jira is a general-purpose tool, designed for a variety of uses and needs. One such requirement is accurate service level agreement (SLA) metrics, which translates to tracking the time required to complete a task or set of activities according to a set of rules.

SLA measurement in Jira Service Management ensures that services are delivered as agreed and within the time required to resolve tasks or respond to customers.

Therefore, in this blog post, we will discuss:

  • SLA measurement in Jira Service Management
  • How to create and manage Jira Service Management SLAs (step by step)
  • Advanced SLA use cases for managing Jira services

SLA measurement in Jira Service Management

While Jira Software and Jira Core don't have any SLA modules, Jira Service Management includes a simple built-in SLA measurement tool built into the ticket queue, allowing us to:

  • Create many different SLA metrics
  • SLA measurement using different calendars and release states
  • Report SLA Violations
  • Notification of SLA violations via email (using automated rules).

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A built-in SLA solution is often sufficient, especially for smaller businesses that don't support external customers. If Jira Service Management is being used for internal IT or helpdesk where a hybrid solution is not required - such as offloading consultants or stadium maintenance working on Jira Core - a standard SLA module may be sufficient.

Things get more complicated if, for example, we want to show our customers themselves when SLAs are violated or track SLA metrics across different tools.

Difference Between Cloud and Data Center

The built-in SLA modules in Jira Service Management are more or less the same across different hosts. Atlassian ensures cloud offerings are up to date and offers even more than data center and server hosting.

However, these features are more convenient than "killer features" such as:

  • Automatically close resolved service requests
  • Automatically close resolved incidents
  • Automatically close resolved requests

While this is great, it can be done with a little effort for Jira administrators in server and datacenter deployments.

How to create and manage Jira Service Management SLAs (step by step)

Let's see how to create a new SLA in Jira Service Management Cloud. The setup process for server and data center hosting is very similar. You can learn more about the officialatlantic papersRegarding data center configuration.

Step 1: Create an SLA

  1. Enter your service project, go to the Project Settings tab, and click SLA.
  2. Click Add SLA.
  3. Enter a name for the new SLA in the box next to the clock icon. Remember, the name cannot be changed once saved. Choose a name that clearly defines the SLA metric.

Step 2: Set goals and conditions

  1. Scroll down to the "Terms" section of the SLA.
  2. Click the Add Condition button in the Start Synchronizing Time section. Add conditions to your SLA to enable metrics. You can add multiple conditions - such that SLAwill calculate when the problem satisfies any specified condition.
  3. Click the Add Condition button under Pause Timer Time. This is an optional setting you can use, for example, when you are waiting for a response from a client.
  4. Click the Add Condition button in the Timeout Ends section. When the condition is met, the SLA clock will stop counting down.

Advanced SLA Guidelines in Jira and Jira Service Management [2023] (2)Step 3: Set SLA goals

  1. Scroll down to the Targets section and click the plus icon.
  2. In the "Target time" section, you can choose how long you want to resolve the issue.
  3. In the "Questions to display (in JQL)" section, you can specify which questions to monitor using JQL queries.
  4. Add as many goals to the SLA as needed. Using drag and drop, you can sort them from most important to least important. Your question will be trackedCriteria based on the first target of the matching list.

Step 4: Set up the SLA Calendar

  1. Go to the top right corner of the page and click on the calendar icon.
  2. Click the Add Calendar button, give your calendar a name, and select the time zone you work in.
  3. Customize the calendar further by choosing days of the week and adding time periods for each day.
  4. If necessary, select the plus icon to add a different time period of the day (for example, if you want to include a mandatory lunch break).
  5. Enter holidays, if necessary.
  6. Click Save. SLAs are complete!

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Step 5: Add automation rules

In Jira Service Management Cloud, you can easily add (by default) 3 automation rules related to your SLA. all these areAutomatically close resolved service requests,Automatically close the event after the event is resolvedIAutomatically close resolved requests.

If you want to learn more about how to set it up, go to the Atlassian product documentation.

Alternative: SLA PowerBox for Jira Datacenter

However, in many cases, user needs go far beyond what Jira's standard service management mechanisms can address. The most common use cases include:

  • Display a timer for end customers via the customer portal showing the time remaining to resolve the issue
  • Automatically send notifications of impending SLA violations via SMS, Slack, Teams, and other channels
  • Share SLAs between different teams, such as a software team using Jira Software and a customer service team using Jira Service Management
  • SLAs are integrated with very complex support processes, such as the need to create individual tasks
  • Manage non-standard situations, such as field work, without actively accessing Jira.

So here you can look for alternatives.

use a similar appSLA Power Boxapplications, data center customers will be able to handle the most complex SLAs. For lighter cases, cloud hosting and its capabilities will suffice.

SLA PowerBox - In addition to showing customers an SLA clock and integrating Jira Core, Jira Software and Jira Service Management, its SLA numbers are not based on case status changes like basic SLA units, but on various events happening in the system ( such as posting a comment or changing recipients).

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This allows Jira administrators to accurately model SLAs in the system, removing one of the most fundamental limitations associated with Jira service management.

Advanced SLA use cases for managing Jira services

Below are 3 of the most common advanced SLA use cases that require more than the built-in SLA modules available in Jira Service Management.

Use Case 1: Logistics Company and Its Field Operations

Logistics companies mainly support logistics centers with expertise in specialized equipment. Dozens of engineers work every day to service the advanced machines in warehouses in various European countries.

Their main advantage over their competitors is the ability to perform fast, professional repair and maintenance work in a stationary mode, often without the need for a permanent internet connection. The company needed a solution that would act as a bridge between the analog and digital worlds.

Every day, engineers print their Jira tickets and travel to different locations to time and sign the Jira cards. At the end of the day, the team is entering data into Jira.

Thanks to the SLA PowerBox's "Transaction Day" feature, which accurately reports such jobs based on actual execution time, every satisfied client receives a consistent monthly report with a list of services and the time spent on each job .

Use Case 2: In-Call Notification

The company supports critical systems for its customers. They offer 24/7 support for selected services, while others only offer support on 8/5.

Since severe outages after hours are relatively rare (10-15 per year), there is no need to maintain a 24/7 support team. They employ an engineer on duty and are only notified in emergencies.

Using Jira and SLA PowerBox, they can continuously collect incidents and notify on-call engineers (and in some cases their supervisors) via SMS/Text and Slack channels. Notifications are only sent under certain circumstances (after normal business hours and critical services).

Use Case 3: – Software Team

A software company uses Jira to manage software delivery through Scrum. In addition to regular scheduled development, they also provide critical debugging of real-time systems.

Because newsletter distribution is so critical to customers, the company has chosen to manage it under a service level agreement. Software projects in Jira do not have built-in SLAs. But with the SLA PowerBox, they are able to track bug fix times as agreed with the customer (including displaying the SLA on the Agile card).


Jira Service Management - whether we're talking data center or cloud hosting - offers pretty decent SLA tracking. At the most basic level, each type of hosting functions the same, but the difference lies in the details.

The cloud version offers better automation out of the box, and the data center version can be extended with powerful solutions like SLA PowerBox, allowing administrators to properly configure even the most complex SLAs.

Overall, Jira Service Management remains a solid SLA monitoring solution and is configurable regardless of hosting type.

Recommended reading:

  • How to create Jira filters
  • GDPR: A complete guide to the Jira compliance regulation
  • Jira Time Tracker: Track and report time easily in Jira
  • How to use Jira for non-software projects (pro's guide)
  • How to use SAFe in Jira: The complete guide
  • How to manage quotes in Jira
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