#XLA - Experience is More than an Agreement

In this episode, Sami and Pasi dig deeper into the topic of Experience Level Agreements, discussing how companies need to go further than creating agreements for measuring experience, which has previously restricted its predecessor - Service Level Agreements. The guys also bring to light Experience Management - an overall approach to focus on building and maintaining positive experiences.

As we know, Experience Level Agreements are agreements relating to and focusing on an end-user's experience and measuring the value created from IT services. 

However, this is not enough to deal with experience as a whole and calls for a much larger scale of management; Experience Management. 

What is Experience Management?

Experience Management is more of a way of working rather than an agreement. In previous posts and podcasts, we have discussed whether physical contractual agreements may restrict experience or are completely necessary, as they can lead to the same mistakes that came with SLAs.

On the other hand, experience management focuses on how you work towards change, how you focus on your end-users' experience, and the value created from services.

Agreements are necessary to decide the outcomes of different projects. Yet, they should be less set in stone than SLAs have been and continuously evolving to match the ever-changing experience your end-users are having.

The above statement paints a better picture of why an agreement is difficult to hook on experience and the need for something greater and more expansive.

In our Practical Guide to XLAs, experience management becomes the Practical part of this guide.

What does it look like?

We have divided experience management into four different areas- Measure, Share, Identify and Improve.

First, you need to start measuring your end-users as they are already having many experiences, positive or negative. By measuring their experiences and how they are feeling about your IT services will give you rich experience data. This gives your end-user a voice and can be the beginning of changing the negative view of IT.

The second stage is to share the experience data with all people associated with impacting your end-users experience, including outsourced managed service providers. 

Experience is feeling based; therefore, your whole team need to understand the emotions and feelings from your end-users.

The third and most crucial step is to identify which areas of your IT needs improvement. Due to the rich experience data gathered from your end-users, your IT department and partners now know where end-user have negative experiences and lose productivity.

Whatever you find through experience data, real innovation can only take place once you have understood the problem area and create a solution to benefit end-users in this given area.

We recommend starting with one area before moving on to another. It is essential not to eat the elephant and become overwhelmed with many improvements and changes at once.

This third stage is the perfect stage to start setting XLAs and experience targets.

Improving is the final stage of experience management. Once you have measured your end-user's experiences, shared data with all stakeholders, identified problem areas, your team can begin to improve experiences.

Is it a one time implementation?

As mentioned before, experience is an ever-changing phenomena. Experience management, therefore, must also be a constant process; another reason why XLAs must also continuously evolve.

Agreements and targets must change relating to the experiences your end-users have. Your end-users experiences will never stay the same and always be changing.

Just as 2020 has shown us, the world becomes unpredictable with significant changes and adaption happening overnight. 

Utilizing experience management allows you to keep up with your end-users, access real-time data to see problem areas and quickly adapt and overcome to keep your employees afloat.






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