Defining SLAs

This page is about Time to SLA for Jira Cloud. Using Jira On-Prem? Click the On-Prem button above.

Time to SLA allows you to define and track an unlimited number of SLAs, helping you keep promises and improve customer satisfaction. On the SLAs page, which you can access from the app’s top bar, you can define new SLAs, manage your existing SLAs, and manage notifiers.

SLAs Overview

  1. SLAs – Click to access all of your SLAs.

  2. Search bar – Choose a filter from the dropdown, like "Priorities", and then use the search box to find specific elements within that category. For instance, search for "Blocker" to target SLAs with that priority.

    Keep in mind that the limits in the search bar are based on the values added in the SLA context.

  3. Hide disabled SLAs – Check this box to hide disabled SLAs from view. To disable an SLA, click the three-dot icon next to it, and select Disable.

  4. List of SLAs – All of the SLAs in your instance are listed here. Clicking on the name of any SLA will take you to its configurations, allowing you to edit it. By clicking on the arrow next to them, you can reveal the details about the SLA, and then use "Columns" on the right-hand side to filter which details you want to see in this view (SLA Context, SLA Conditions, SLA Goals, etc.).

  5. Columns – Add or remove columns that display information about the selected SLA on the SLAs page. You can change their order by dragging and dropping them on the table.

  6. SLA Options Menu – After expanding the details of an SLA by clicking the arrow next to it, you can click the three-dot icon on the right-hand side to reveal the options menu for the SLA.

    • Edit – Click here to modify the SLA by updating any field. Alternatively, click on the SLA name to open the editing screen. After editing, you must recalculate the SLA data for the issues; otherwise, you may run into miscalculations. Click here to find out how to recalculate SLA data.

    • Manage notifiers – This option allows you to set up notifications and manage them for your SLA.

    • Clone – Clicking this option duplicates that SLA.

    • Disable – Click to disable the SLA. When an SLA is disabled, all SLA actions are stopped. The SLA won’t appear in fields, reports, and other configurations. You can use this feature to hide SLAs that are irrelevant to your workflow but might be needed in the future. Disabling such SLAs preserves configurations for potential future use.

    • Delete – This action is irreversible and will permanently remove the SLA.

How to Define an SLA

This documentation provides step-by-step instructions on creating an SLA using the Time to SLA app for Jira Cloud.

  1. Log in to your Jira Cloud account.

  2. Click Apps in the header menu and open the Time to SLA app.

  3. Navigate to SLAs from the header menu.

  4. Upon installation, the SLAs page appears empty if no SLAs are imported. Click +SLA or Create your first SLA to define your first SLA.

Step 1: Set up your SLA definition

  1. Enter a clear and concise name for your SLA that reflects its purpose.

  2. Optionally, add a description for the SLA.

  3. Define the scope that the SLA will be applied to through the SLA Context section. You need to add at least one context field. You can pick the project you want to have the SLA apply to, or click + More Context to add others such as:

    • Request Type – By selecting a specific Request Type, you tailor the SLA to the unique needs of that type of request. For instance, you might want different SLAs for bug fixes, feature requests, or support queries.

    • Issue Type – This refers to the categorization of the task or item you are tracking in Jira. Each project can have different Issue Types (e.g., Bug, Task, Story). Choosing an Issue Type in the SLA Context ensures that the SLA is applicable to issues falling under that specific category.

    • Issue Priority – Assigning an SLA to a particular Priority ensures that the defined service levels are applied based on the criticality of the issue. For instance, by incorporating multiple context fields like Project and Issue Priority, you can fine-tune the SLA to exclusively apply to issues with a designated priority level (e.g., Highest, High) within a specific project.

    • Issue Filter – Allows you to apply the SLA to a subset of issues based on a predefined filter, giving you extra flexibility.

    • JQL (Jira Query Language) – Allows you to create sophisticated queries to filter and retrieve specific sets of issues and apply the SLA to matching the criteria defined in the JQL query. This is particularly useful for advanced users who want to create dynamic and customized SLA conditions.
      As you define the context, the issues that fit you definition will be listed below in the “Context Issues” section. You can finetune your selection by checking off the boxes next to the issues.

Step 2: Define your SLA goals

  1. Set your SLA goals, which are time limits or deadlines set within your specified context. They are tracked according to your working hours. You can add numerous goals by using the + Add goal button.

    Each goal can be a specific timeframe (days, hours, minutes) or a fixed deadline, such as a due date or custom field in Jira issues. If your SLA includes multiple goals, they are prioritized from top to bottom. The remaining issues will be handled under a default goal.

For more information about SLA goals, refer to the related documentation.

Step 3: Set your SLA conditions

  1. Select your SLA conditions. Time to SLA lists the most widely used conditions inspired by real-world scenarios to save time; however, you can click + More Condition Types to reveal many other options. For example, you might start time when an issue is created, pause time while you wait for the customer to respond, and stop time when the issue is resolved. You can add more than one condition.
    Check out the screenshots below to see some examples:


Conditions can be connected using logical operators, with the default being the OR (“Any of the following conditions”) operator, meaning the SLA starts when any of the conditions are met. Alternatively, you can use the AND (“All of the following conditions”) operator. In this case, the SLA will start only when all conditions within a group are met.



You can also create Grouped Conditions to construct intricate SLA use cases by organizing conditions into logical groups with specific connectors.

For more information about SLA conditions, refer to the related documentation.

  1. Once you click Save, your SLA will be created.

Step 4: Dive into advanced configurations

  1. If you want to dive into more advanced configurations, click Edit.

  2. Calculation Method – Select the calculation method for the elapsed duration. Your options are All Cycles, First Cycle, Largest Span, and Last Cycle.

    By default, All Cycles are selected. For example, if the SLA starts with an Open status and ends with a Resolved status, the All Cycles method will add up all the cycles between Open and Resolved statuses.

  1. Critical Zone Percentage – This is a parameter that you can set to signal when an SLA has reached what you would describe as a critical status. When an SLA enters this zone, the SLA Panel’s color will change from blue to orange. Learn more about the SLA Panel here.

  1. Linked Issue SLA – You can select whether to display this SLA in linked issues and specify which link types it’ll be displayed in. When you link two issues, you’ll be able to see the SLA Panel on both of them.

  1. SLA Custom Field – Add this custom field to screens where you would like to see SLA target date information. Only date/time custom fields can be selected as the target date, hence why only these custom fields are available within the drop-down menu. Please note that this is an optional custom field that will need to be added to the relevant screens. The installation of Time to SLA does not automatically add it to issues. To learn how, refer to this documentation.

  1. Don’t forget to click Save.

Next Steps

On this page, we explained how you can set up an SLA. Before we continue, we recommend you try creating two SLAs for your own use:

  • Time to resolution

  • First response time

Or you can check out our ready-made SLA templates, and customize them to your specific use case. If you ever encounter any problems while creating them, check out FAQ: SLAs – we may have already listed the answers to some of your questions!