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.
This is Chapter 3 in Service Desk Improvement Manager Ron’s story. The other chapters can be found here:
This is Ron's story...
Chapter 3: Business Value Outcomes
Ron gets back home after what felt like one of the longest days at work; he had to deal with two Priority 1 incidents before the clock hit 17:30, meaning he only left at 19:00.
On the plus side, only one of them could be blamed on Crodwell. It’s the same P1 they have had with five different customers in the last quarter - everyone seems to be too busy to do a root cause analysis and prevent it in the first place!
Problem Management has never been Crodwell’s strongest suit, despite the promise of it in every bid. If you are getting paid for each ticket raised by the customer, applying ITIL’s best practices would mean a decrease in a ticket count, and therefore a loss in revenue.
As he approaches his house, Ron thinks to himself, “If the lack of true customer focus and long-term vision is the standard in the industry, what is there to gain by being different?”
“Where have you been? Do you realise it’s 8 o’clock?” shouts Maeve out of the kitchen as soon as she hears Ron come in.
“Sorry, I got stuck at work, we had yet another nightmare of a day.”
“Don’t ‘sorry‘ me. Instead, message me so I don’t cook dinner that ends up going cold...you’re hardly ever home before sunset these days! But Ron is in a different world. Whilst his head keeps nodding and his mouth is getting burnt from the boiling hot, recently reheated cheese, all he can think about are XLAs, true customer centricity, and what it will take to turn the Poole account around.
“…and then she said: ‘No, I would never do such a thing.’ I can’t believe she’d go behind my back! Are you even listening to me?” Maeve asks, incredulously.
“Sorry, there’s just a lot going on at work right now.” Ron answers, watching Maeve stand up swiftly and leave the kitchen with a roll of her eyes.
“Well thanks for your support...” Ron mutters under his breath. ‘Perhaps this relationship needs some XLAs’ he thinks, with a chuckle to himself.
It’s not all doom and gloom, as it gives Ron at least a couple of hours before bedtime to work on his plan.
As he is building out the presentation, finding more and more reading on XLAs and Experience Management and making notes, he is particularly interested in identifying and presenting the value that this will need to bring to Poole – and he knows case studies are a great place to start to link them to Poole’s business challenges. Ron starts to write down his Value Points:
As soon as he finishes, Ron finds Jade in the company directory quickly, noticing a 15-minute availability between meetings tomorrow morning. Feeling cheeky and optimistic in equal measures, he sends her a meeting request with a headline “XLA – real world application presentation review”. To his big surprise, Jade must be online as she accepts immediately. “Hmm, another total workaholic – that makes two of us!” thinks Ron, his spirits raised.
Then, to his even greater surprise, Jade sends him a Teams message, “Hi Ron, if you want to fire through what you have, I can have a quick look now if that would help?”
‘Gosh, Jade is efficient!’ thinks Ron
He sends over the presentation to Jade and receives another quick message back from jade, merely five minutes later.
“Thanks Ron, this looks interesting and I’ve already thought of a few potential tweaks that could help. I’ll review this properly tonight and I will come back to you when we meet tomorrow.”
“Thanks so much Jade! Really appreciate your help on this and look forward to catching up tomorrow.”
Feeling upbeat about today’s progress, Ron closes down his laptop, brushes his teeth and gets ready for bed. He makes his way to the bedroom, kisses Maeve’s forehead, wishing her good night as she pretends to be asleep, and almost instantly falls asleep himself.
Service Experience Management (SXM) and the introduction of Experience Level Agreements (XLAs) have been topics widely discussed at various industry conferences in the last few years. This four-episode blog article takes us on Ron’s journey through an introduction of SXM and XLAs at an MSP. Identify where to start, who you need on board, and what it will take to kick such cultural, process and technological change at your organisation.
For more information about Experience Management please take a look at the below links: