XLA Pocketbook Series: Part 1

An introduction to XLA

Join the movement


The XLA Pocketbook is both a theoretical and practical beginnerโ€™s guide to the art of XLA. In this blog series, we take you through the different chapters of the book. Part 1 of this series introduces you to the history of XLA.

The experience economy has influenced the last twenty years of Enterprise IT. However, experience had not been included in the contracting of IT services until Giarte created the Xperience Level Agreement (XLA) in 2015. What is XLA? XLA is the concept of consensus between an IT service provider and a customer regarding the desired human experience and business impact. An Xperience Level Agreement (XLA) is an outcome-oriented document that is a measurable and verifiable agreement between IT provider and customer with respect to the three XLA drivers: collaboration, experience, and business impact.

Pine and Gilmore, experience experts, proposed a new way of connecting with customers and securing their loyalty in 1999. Two years later, a group of software rebels gathered in a ski resort, defining the Agile Manifesto as a declaration of independence for software coding. Don Norman published his book Emotional Design in 2003, and in 2007 Steve Jobs performed the best product launch ever with the iPhone, setting the tone for the consumerization of Enterprise IT. The list above may seem like a random collection of events, but these developments set the XLA movement in motion.

The notion of XLA was first introduced in 2007 by Marcel Broumels. This term, then described as Experience Level Agreement (ELA), was coined in his study on a new approach for facility management. In 2015, Marco Gianotten, the founder of Giarte, took XLA to the Pink Elephant conference in Las Vegas, the most prominent IT Service Management conference in the world. From there, XLA took a sprint. 

In 2018, the Royal Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN), Giarte and three other stakeholders started developing a Netherlands Technical Agreement (NTA) defining the basic requirements for XLA. The next step for a federated international standard is a Dutch NEN Standard with broader stakeholder representation to publish an authoritative standard. This NEN 8038 Standard will be published in 2023. By defining the standards for XLA boost the development and implementation of Experience Management worldwide. 

Stand at the forefront of a new movement in tech. Join the movement. Go XLA


For more information on XLA, order the XLA Pocketbook here.

Donโ€™t miss out on our next blog article, which will dive deeper into the how of XLA and introduce you to the XLA 6P Framework.