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Level of Service (LOS)
Level of service is defined as: "the parameters, or combination of parameters, which reflect social, political, environmental and economic outcomes that the organization delivers" (ISO 55000).

LOS is a means for capturing and realizing value from the organization's assets through the delivery of services (eg. parks, libraries, transit) to stakeholders (such as customers).

Purpose of LOS
Listed below are the key objectives of an LOS framework:
  • To provide transparency
  • To provide accountability
  • To provide for repeatable and consistent measurement, reporting, auditing of inputs, outputs and outcomes
  • To ensure effiency in service delivery
  • To ensure long-term financial viability in service delivery
  • To align service delivery to organizational goals
  • To extract value from assets and ensure positive relations with stakeholders
  • To optimize the delivery of services

Parameters of LOS
The parameters can include any and all of the following universal customer values:
Attributes of LOS

  • Single-service vs. multi-service coverage
  • Quantitative vs. Qualitative measures
  • Formal v informal measures

Classification/Models of Level of Service

LOS can be arranged into a hierarchy to assist in tracing the relationship along the aspirational-transactional hierarchy within an organization:
  • Enterprise Level of Service (E-LOS) - These statements are generally qualitative in nature.
  • Customer level of Service (C-LOS) - How the customer receives the service.The front-of house experience of the service. CLOS provides lagging indicators of problems with assets and should be expressed in quantitative terms. 
  • Technical Level of Service (T-LOS) - How the organization provides the service. The behind-the-scenes activities of the organization in the management of the physical condition, demand condition and functional condition of the assets. TLOS provides leading indicators of problems with assets.
  • Legislated/Regulated LOS (RLOS) -
The networked diagram of ELOS, CLOS and TLOS is referred to as the Value Framework.

Measurement Model #2
  • Inputs (T-LOS) - The resources (financial, human and material) devoted to a particiular program. Consult expertise is included. 
  • Outputs (C-LOS) - The services, product which result from the inputs. What the service/program produces. Outputs are measurable and readily determined
  • Outcomes (E-LOS) - The effect the program produces on people or issues. A change that occurred because of hte program/service. Proof that what the organization is doing accomplishes something.
  • Impacts - The long term effects of outcomes.
Organizations sometimes use the term "results" when they should be referring to "outcomes' or outputs".

The following table provides a comparative summary of the attributes of E-LOS, C-LOS and T-LOS.
--Lagging indicatorsLeading indicators
Front of housefront of houseBack of house

Service analysis
The following table provides and examples of the total portfolio of programs and services offered by the organization.
Public safety2533%

Internal service deliveryHigh
Citizen service deliveryLow

Service RankingNumber%
Could be reduced2026%
Remain status quo4053%
Could be improved
Could substantially improve23%

IDAsset ClassExternal focusInternal focus
2Waste waterHigh--
3Storm waterHigh--
5Solid WasteHigh--
6Parks & RecreationHigh--
Counter serviceHigh--
9Fleet & equipmentLowHigh

The following table provides an example of an LOS measure through the framework
LOS #1
Asset classTransit
E-LOS measure
E- LOS target
C-LOS measure
C-LOS target
T-LOS measure
T-LOS target
Measurement methodSurvey
Measurement intervalAnnual
Reporting Method
Reporting intervalBi-annual

Sources of LOS Information
Listed below are some of the key source of information on levels of service:
  • Official Community Plan (OCP
  • Master Plans
  • Policies
  • Bylaws
  • Strategies
  • Asset Management Plan (AMP)
These sources would typically vary in terms of the degree of qualitativeness or quantitativeness of the information.

Management of LOS (Process)
Management of LOS is achieved throuugh the following principles:

A.  Establish the Value Framework
Review existing aspirational documents:
  • Policies
  • Strategies, Plans
  • Industry standards
  • Previous citizen surveys
Create a network tree ("Value Framework") aligned back to organizational objectives. the framework is arranged using the hierarchy of Enterprise LOS, Customer LOS and Technical
  • Quality and quantity of the measures
  • Ratio of qualitative to quantitative measures
  • Search all master/strategy docs (by keyword, such as "water" and "roads" to find all references to these asset elements.
  • Transpose the text into a table
B.  Identify Gaps in Service Measures

Determine where
  • LOS measures need to be converted from qualitative to quantitative statements
  • service delivery levels are outside asset capacity
  • service is below asset capacity

Estimate Costing of Services
Attach cost estimates for providing each service. Determine financial sustainabilitty
  • Maintain LOS - we need to invest in our existing asset base. Many assets are old and deteriorating and a risk to service deliveryi. We need to invest just to stand still. 
  • Enhance LOS - Our customers want a higher level of service. Lets invest in our assets to make an improvement in our level of service and increase our target level
  • Growth & Demand - The City is getting bigger and we need to expand our service to accommodate the increasing demand. Lets bring the same service to more people. 
  • New Legislation - The regulator has updated the legislation that affects our organization and we need to comply by making some changes.

  • Maintain LOS - The investment required to maintain the current LOS to the community and existing stakeholders
  • Enhance LOS - The investment required to provide an identifiable, measurable and permanent change in the overall LOS to community and existing stakeholders above the standard previously provided.
  • Support growth and demand - The investment required to provide service for new customers with no net deterioration from the current LOS provided to existing community and stakeholders
  • Address legislative changes - The investment that is required for compliance with new legally enforceable obligations.
  • Increase efficiency - The investment required to enable a demonstrable savings in operating expenses

Cost estimates are comprised of the following elements:
  • Staff (to operate and maintain the assets and provide the services
  • Equipment and software
The following table provides an example of how the total cost of service (TCS) can be itemized and estimated.

D.  Engage with Stakeholders
Inform customers of existing and desired levels

E.  Set Targets & Roadmap
Set realistic targets using the SMART framework and insert these targets into the value framework. The targets should be adopted by top management and communicationed to  stakeholders. In this regard, Chapter 3 of an Asset Management Plan (AMP) often includes information on levels of service.

C  Trends
Listed below are the five types of trends that can be applied to levels of service:
  • Positive upward trend
  • Negative upward trend
  • Positive downward trend
  • Negative downward trend
  • Steady state trend
This answers the questions of:
  • Where have we been?
  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to get to?
E. Trade-offs (Cost, Risk, Performance)

The inevitable trade-offs to achieve the triple bottom line (TBL) objectives.

  • Identify critical assets
  • determine asset utiliziation levels
  • determine asset operating costs
  • develop trade-off criteria

F. Monitoring and Measuring

Data collection

What to be measured:

How to measure LOS: 

  • Citizen satisfaction monitoring
  • Customer Satisfaction Survey
  • Willingness-to-Pay Survey
  • Measurement method - who and what (survey, etc)
  • Measurement calculation - how (stats, etc)
  • Measurement interval - when (daily, yearly, etc)
  • Reporting method (graphs, text, pictures, etc)
  • Reporting interval 
  • Trend analysis
  • Benchmark Analysis/Comparison (eg. CIRC and MBNCanada)

service shortcomings due to asset capacity/performance

Every stakeholder has a perspective. ISO 55000 (ISO 55001) helps to align these with corporate and asset management objectives
Fig. Every stake
holder has a perspective. ISO 55000 (ISO 55001) helps to align these with corporate and asset management objectives.

The hierarchy of Enterprise LOS, Customer LOS and Technical LOS, using a transit thread as an example
Fig. The "value framework" for a particular service area expressed as a hierarchy of Enterprise LOS, Customer LOS and Technical LOS, using a transit thread as an example.

The LOS-Cost relationship using transit buses as an example.
Fig. The LOS-Cost relationship using transit buses as an example.

Making inevitable trade-offs and finding consensus with different stakeholder groups
Fig. Making inevitable trade-offs and finding consensus with different stakeholder groups.

The four core principles of asset management are the foundation of ISO 55001 (ISO 55000)
Fig. The four core principles of asset management (including value) are the foundation of ISO 55001.

The aspirational-transactional hierarchy includes the translation of ELOS to CLOS to TLOS.
Fig. The aspirational-transactional hierarchy includes the translation of ELOS (Enterprise) to CLOS (Customer) to TLOS (Technical).

The various sectors of industry and real estate that are contemplating ISO 55001 conformity
Fig. LOS varies within different sectors of the economy. For example, the municipal sector is concerned with the "community" experience, whereas the hospitality industry is focused on the "guest" experience.

SMART goals help the organization reach its target
Fig. SMART goals help the organization reach its target.

See also:
Compare with:

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