Creating XLAs Can Be Challenging
Successfully creating and implementing XLAs takes more than just measuring a few end-user experience metrics. It requires organizations to adopt a completely different mindset, too, according to Marco Gianotten, founder and CEO of Giarte, a research and consulting agency pioneering digital empathy and XLAs.
“We have a problem with empathy in enterprise IT. We show more apathy than empathy,” Gianotten said during a session about XLAs during Lakeside’s DEXterity Virtual Conference 2021. “We need to see and feel IT from the users’ perspective, and that starts with empathy.”
In its XLA report, Forrester notes that XLAs need careful consideration as well as a foundational commitment to employee experience across the organization.
“XLAs require a thoughtful approach to implement correctly, especially when the XLA aims to quantify a difficult-to-measure, intangible business benefit, such as increased employee satisfaction or innovation.”
But there are undeniable challenges that can get in the way of successful XLAs, according to Forrester. Defining XLAs, interpreting them correctly, ensuring privacy, and preventing unintended consequences are among some of main obstacles.
So how can organizations avoid these pitfalls? Well, that depends on the scenario.
Planning, Technology Make the Difference with XLAs
When implementing experience-level agreements, there are two ways to go about it: Deploy them internally or leverage them using a managed service provider. And depending on the situation, the process for defining and building those XLAs can vary greatly.
To help organizations start these XLA journeys, here are a few best practices Forrester recommends for each scenario.
Deploying internal XLAs
Without assistance from an MSP, creating and monitoring internal XLAs can be tricky. It takes a few key elements — including resources, careful consideration, and an organization-wide commitment to improving digital experiences — to get XLAs off the ground successfully.
Organizations can start by assessing which tech solutions (such as enterprise service management (ESM), endpoint management, end-user experience management (EUEM), and more) they need, processes that will help fill in knowledge gaps, and expertise or staffing required to implement and manage XLAs. It’s also crticial that project leaders keep XLAs simple yet well defined, and focused improving digital employee experience (DEX).
Leveraging XLAs with MSPs
Although they most often deal in SLAs, MSPs can also be a good option for managing XLAs — especially for organizations that don’t have the budget to build out their own teams. Implementing XLAs with an MSP can be a good way to evaluate the relationship between an enterprise and its provider, too.
In this scenerio, however, it’s important to use XLAs and SLAs in tandem to deliver quality service, and to include objective data as well as subjective sentiment with XLAs for more accurate measure of service performance.
With these practical suggestions, organizations can start to build a fundamental understanding of employee experience, as well as how services impact productivity and business outcomes.