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11 April, 2024 ITIL XLAs

Experience Management

When the technology world is not salivating over AI, there is also the equally pervasive emergence of ‘Experience Management’ (XM).

This requires a revised focus for service providers on the experience of people, individuals, employees, customers, users and partners, when using technology, including:

  • Digital tools are available to track specific user experience at an intimate and personal level – speed, useability, capability, skills, underlying issues. This opens opportunities for better – proactive and less disruptive – responses from the technology providers.
  • Experience reflects ‘co-creation of value’ – the notion that the use of technology is part of the definition of its value.  Value is co-created by user and supplier, so it’s vital to measure and monitor experience as much as performance.
  • Experience is also now measured in terms of ‘sentiment’ – i.e. how it makes the user/consumer ‘feel’. This helps the provider to gauge where issues are causing problems for users in a way not previously noticed or managed.
  • Experience also can cover business success and outcomes, where technology facilitates the delivery of business transactions, sales, and other core activities. This can also cover financial and risk indicators.

The technology industry as a whole has collectively wakened up to the concept of experience management. This is not a new concept, as it has been used in other industries for many years. It has also been in use in pockets in IT and ITSM for some years with implementations of bundled reporting, balanced scorecards, auditing practices that include employee and customer experience management *, NPS, Net Promoter Score etc.

It should also be stated that good SLAs should also include a variety of elements, including user experience data, feedback and business targets. The ITIL key message of Service Level Management states that ‘the purpose of the service level management practice is to set clear, business-based targets for service utility, warranty, and experience ‘.**). BRM (Business Relationship Management also plays a key part in the development and management of feedback and experience data – often in tandem with a service desk or service delivery operation.


If you are considering using XLM, DEX tools or implementing XLAs:

  1. It is preferable to use XLM as part of service management, not as a separate entity – ideally XLAs and experience data fit into a wider dataset of reporting.
  2. Don’t throw away all the good stuff you’ve built with ITSM – build upon it.
  3. Consider why SLAs in your organisation have previously failed – avoid re-creating the same issues with XLAs instead of SLAs. Often this has come down to how a service provider approaches and interacts with its business users.
  4. Consider the impact of survey overload on your users and customers – its desirable to get data and their feedback, but some organisations are now limiting the number of surveys that can be used.
  5. Experience data should be combined with other forms of measurement, feedback and performance data to provide new levels of expectation setting and management.

At BRC we have many years of consulting experience in and across these areas and issues. Our first ‘bundled SLA’ (including experience, cost and outcome data) was created with a retail company in 2007. Please come and chat to use about your thoughts and plans for any aspect of service management and experience management – at SITS 24 Stand 124 17th and 18th April 2024.

*E.g. SDI Service Desk Global Certification Standard.

** (ITIL 4 Service Level Management Practice Guide, PeopleCert 2023).