Establish and maintain the service agreement.


Depending on the service type, market, and the nature of the service provider’s business model, the initial form of a service agreement can be determined by either the customer or the service provider. The content in the agreement can be established by one party or the other, or is jointly negotiated.

The service agreement should cover all terms, conditions, and commitments that are necessary for ongoing successful service delivery, including commitments for which customers and end users are responsible when appropriate.


Examples of items in a service agreement include the following:
  • Service types, levels, and measures
  • Service availability
  • Service acceptance and quality criteria
  • Acceptable impact on customer and end-user activities
  • Risk and contingency identification
  • Intellectual property considerations
  • Customer and end-user roles and responsibilities
  • Customer supplied resources
  • Expected cost, payment, and funding schedules
  • Security and safety considerations

Refer to the Strategic Service Management (STSM) (CMMI-SVC) process area for more information about establishing properties of standard services and service levels.

Example Work Products

  1. Service agreement


1. Define the structure and format of the service agreement.

It is important to define a structure for the service agreement that will meet the needs of the customer and service provider. The structure of the service agreement complements or reflects the critical attributes, categories, and structure or hierarchy of standard service definitions if they exist.


Examples of structures to consider include the following:
  • Service based: The service agreement is organized around a service (e.g., providing corporate email) and can cover several different customers.
  • Customer based: The service agreement is organized around a customer and can cover several services for that customer.

In some service contexts (e.g., government contracting), customers provide considerable detail on their expectations for the structure and format of a service agreement. In those situations, this subpractice amounts to developing an understanding of the customer’s expectations and the range of allowable tailoring of the agreement’s structure and format.

2. Define, negotiate, and obtain agreement on a draft service agreement.

3. Publish the service agreement and make it available to service providers, customers, and end users as appropriate.

4. Review and revise the service agreement on a periodic and event-driven basis as appropriate.