CDW Blog

Experience Management and XLAs. Chapter 6: The Presentation

12 March, 2024 / by Jaro Tomik


Is your IT Service Team hitting its agreed SLAs but still not delivering value for money?   

You’re not alone.    

It’s a common problem to experience the ‘Watermelon Effect’, and it’s why many ITSM teams are adding XLAs (Experience Level Agreements) to their usual SLAs, as they look to improve their user experience, efficiency, and the relationship they have with their customers.   

Previous Chapters can be found here Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4 and Chapter 5.

Experience Management and XLAs 

Chapter 6 – The Presentation 

It’s Wednesday, 9.43AM and Ron, Lisa, and Jade arrive at Crodwell’s reception, chatting about the Spring weather, and their futile wishes for a California-style Summer in London this year. “Last time we had two days over 35C the railway tracks melted, remember?” Ron chuckles. 

Mark, the Head of IT Service Delivery at Crodwell, greets them, “Good morning. Are you ready?”  

“Only if you are!” replies Ron, in the hope of lifting the mood, but leaving Nick’s face unaffected. 

The meeting starts at 10AM sharp, with everyone in the room introducing themselves. Jade, being the last one to do an introduction, asks Crodwell’s representatives, “What would we need to deliver by the end of this presentation to make it worth your while?” 

They think for a couple of seconds before Nick replies. “This time with you will be worth it anyway. Either we will know for sure that there is not much of a future between us, or you will entirely revolutionise our thinking and prove that we should keep on working with you. I do not foresee anything in between.” 

“Alright then, let’s achieve the latter. Challenge accepted!” says Jade, knowing at this point they have nothing to lose. “Ron, over to you.”  

“Nick, I can see you processing the content. What are you thinking?” Asks Lisa. 

“Hmm... Well done for getting the hamster wheel to spin in my head. It’s a lot to process but you’ve presented it in a very concise way. I can see the amount of investment going into this from your side. What’s in it for you though? Why is it worth turning this Titanic around?” 

“Actually,” Ron jumps at the opportunity to answer, “we are seeing this as a route to revolutionise the way we treat and interact with all our customers. Not just you.” 

“What I am hearing is that instead of us simply getting unsatisfactory service, we will become guinea pigs for this?” 

“That’s one way to see it.” replies Jade. “Or you can think of it as having a positive impact on moving the industry forward by experimenting in a safe, structured, cost-effective manner. The success of the project will then raise your profile as we can shout about it at conferences and events, helping you and your teams to accelerate. What have you got to lose?” 

“Only the most precious resource there is, Jade - time,” replies Nick ominously. “Alright then, send us the slides, please, and the Statement of Work. Let the team and I put our heads together, weigh up our options, and we will let you know by the end of the day, whether it’s a green or a red light.” 

It’s 5.30PM now, and Ron’s nervousness grows with every movement of the second hand on his watch. He is trying to distract himself by watching a video on How to incorporate XLAs into Outsourcing Agreements, but his mind is preoccupied with a different agenda. 

Suddenly his phone starts vibrating – it’s Lisa. “Okay, here we go.” Ron says to himself before taking a deep breath and picking the phone up. 

“Hiya, Ron, I have good news and bad news. Which one do you want to hear first?” says Lisa.  

“OK, give me the bad news first” 

“You just got yourself A LOT more work.” 

“Oh, really? Does that mean we got it?” Replies Ron with hope in his voice. 

“YESSSSS! We did it! Find Jade, I will be in the office in 10 mins. Wait for me, let’s open that 18-year-old Bowmore I have. This project will either make or break us, so we might as well celebrate while we can.” As Lisa hangs up. 

“Yes! Get in there!” Ron shouts across the office holding his hands high like Rocky Balboa’s statue, ignoring the shaking heads of his colleagues. He feels like he is on top of the world right now. He has won this battle. Now it’s time to win the war.