Key performance indicators (KPIs) and service level agreements (SLAs)

With the data that IBM® Business Process Manager tracks and stores for key performance indicators (KPIs), you can analyze process performance and create service level agreements (SLAs).


Key performance indicators (KPIs) are measurements that IBM BPM tracks at process run time, storing results that you can use to analyze process and task performance in the Optimizer. IBM BPM includes the following types of KPIs:

KPIs Description
Standard KPIs Located in the System Data Toolkit. By default, most of the standard KPIs are associated with each activity that you add to a BPD diagram. Click the KPIs option in the properties for an activity to see the associated KPIs. Each of these KPIs has default settings that you can change.
Custom KPIs You can define custom KPIs and associate them with one or more activities in your BPDs.

When you run instances of a business process definition (BPD), IBM BPM tracks and stores data for configured KPIs in the Business Performance Data Warehouse. IBM BPM uses stored KPI data when you run certain types of historical analyses in the Optimizer. Not all historical analyses available in the Optimizer rely on data that is generated and stored because of KPIs.

Note: The standard KPI, Total Time (Clock), is associated with each BPD by default. To view the settings for this KPI, click the Process KPIs tab in the Designer. You cannot alter the settings for this KPI.


You can create service level agreements (SLAs) that are based on standard and custom KPIs. With SLAs, you establish a condition for one or more activities that triggers a consequence. For example, you can create an SLA that causes IBM BPM to send an email notification when a particular activity takes longer than expected to run.

When you run instances of your processes, SLA consequences do not trigger until the associated activity starts or completes. For example, if you configure an SLA to send an email notification when a particular activity takes longer than two days to run, IBM BPM does not send the notification when the violation occurs. Instead, IBM BPM sends the notification when the activity is complete. Therefore, if the activity takes three days to complete, IBM BPM sends the notification then, informing users of the violation. With SLAs you can report violations and, over time, understand the trend in violations.

To enable Process Portal users to immediately react to time-based conditions for one activity, use a timer event to capture the violation. If an SLA is not based on time, consider using exposed process values (EPVs) to model the SLA. To provide immediate notification of violations, develop the appropriate implementation for your needs (such as a timer event for an escalation), and then create an SLA so that you can track and report historical trends.

SLAs enable in-depth performance analysis over time, as described in the following table:

Analysis Description
My SLA Overview dashboard View this report in Process Portal to see the name, description, and status of each configured SLA, and a trend chart of violations for all SLAs or a specified SLA.

The My SLA Overview dashboard is not exposed by default for Process Portal users. If you want process participants to see the My SLA Overview dashboard in their tabs list, you must expose it manually, as described in step 10 of Creating SLAs in Process Designer.

Custom SLA reports (deprecated) Use SLA data that is stored in the Business Performance Data Warehouse to create custom reports using IBM BPM or a third-party tool. You can use the SLASTATUS and the SLATHRESHOLDTRAVERSALS database views to query the data..
Historical analysis in the Optimizer view When you are running scenarios, choose the SLA visualization mode to display results that are based on SLA violations.