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Experience Level Agreements (XLAs) – Tick Tock!

It is a new day! The world of IT has changed from solely provisioning technology and services to actually being integral in the fulfillment of all business operations. It is time for staff and leaders to learn, get certified, evolve and most importantly to move forward with XLAs. As the climate of business operation changes it makes sense (or should make sense) that the way we measure and fulfill the provisioning of services must evolve to meet new challenges. This does not mean that SLAs are gone and XLAs are taking over. They can co-exist!

Traditional Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are sometimes rigid and can be restrictive in a world where the ability to shift and change with dynamic business needs are prevalent. Many of you can relate to those organizations that are meeting and exceeding SLAs only to find Customer Satisfaction (C-Sat) Scores are tanking. Internally the staff celebrate while the organization loses market share!

There is still a place for SLAs in the world and they remain an important element for the delivery of IT services. For digital environments, the evident need for Experience Level Agreements (XLAs) is obvious as we strive to focus on what, who and how the patterns of business/user experience are shifting. We have moved beyond needing to ensure the minimum level of service is maintained and delivered. As service and business providers we must be able to change when the business environment and consumer require it.

XLAs require a shift in thinking. Instead of thinking about tech and systems and only how they support, the perspective shifts. Honor the past, leverage from existing measurement models but know that in order to truly generate value we must keep that outside-in viewpoint. XLAs allow us to do that. As we shift the way we think and shift the focus to the consumer we must also shift the way we measure. Service provisioning requires that XLAs measure both hard and soft data to determine how satisfied customers and employees are with IT services. It’s a critical factor and it does not stop there. We need to be on top of things in order to monitor how those patterns are shifting so that we progress at the same rate as the demand for dynamic change evolves.

Research shows that companies are willing to pay more for better service. The industry expects the ability to leverage innovative and new technology. Internally, staff expect the ability to leverage cutting-edge cloud services that enable them to meet the day-to-day end-user business and customer experience. With a shift in thinking and a shift in measuring, XLAs will allow us to move from viewing targets with customers as penalties. We move into a more collaborative culture where we co-exist and co-create with our business partners. By deploying XLAs with closed-loop feedback cycles, data about how employees interact with IT services and how they feel when they encounter specific issues drives ongoing improvement to boost overall satisfaction.

Experience Level Agreements – Tick Tock, Tick Tock. The time is now, take action!!

To learn more, visit us on the web, check out this webinar, or consider registering for the ITSM Academy Essence of eXperience (XLA) Certification course.


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