From our early Experience Introduction class up until the final Master Class, we speak often of an Experience Management Office, or XMO. When we introduce the architecture, it can seem intimidating or overwhelming to attendees. The many roles and full scope can seem like a lot to fulfil, however, not all roles need to be fulfilled in order to ensure that experience is being managed effectively.
By presenting the full XMO architecture, we aim to give you an idea of the roles and objectives that are included in order to give you an idea of who may be able to take them on. Ideally, being able to fill all roles would be the best result. This would ensure the most efficient operation of the office because everyone has one role to fulfil.
However, in reality not many organisations will be able to fulfil all 7 roles. What is key is that the XMO can find skills to fulfil the other areas even if it on a temporary (once a month) basis. Also roles can combine (see below) and 1 person might be able to fulfil several roles, certainly after they have been on our master classes.
The XMO is responsible for ensuring that experience being delivered matches the experience ambitions. However, it isn't always responsible for the action taken in order to reduce the space between them, also known as the experience gap. We often equate the XMO to a lighthouse because the lighthouse keeper's job is to shine a light on the dangers of the upcoming shoreline to ships; not to steer the ship safely to harbour. With any luck, there is a captain for that.
As we spoke about in an article on why experience management is so important, having an XMO tackles concerns around the collection and interpretation of sentiment survey, O, and T data, which in turn is then analysed before action is recommended to the relevant teams or stakeholders in attempt to resolve the experience gap, this being the gap between the experience you strive for and the actual experience delivered.
The XMO Architecture ©XLACollab
What Kind of Roles Could You Combine?
Let's explore some possible options:
Mission 1 is all about experience measures. From constructing surveys according to best practices to collecting and ensuring the results have strong validity, this is the starting point for any XMO. If the resources are not there to fulfil all roles in this mission, it makes sense that the role of survey architect could also fulfil the role of validation expert. Best practices for surveys are linked to ensuring strong validity of surveys, therefore the architect could ensure structural integrity as well as design the blueprints.
You may also find it plausible to combine all three into one or the architect into the collection expert. This probably depends, however, on the kind of data streams you have to collect from. If you require someone to collect O and T data from respective online tools, as well as sentiment data, it may become quite taxing on a single individual to fulfil. They would be effectively managing the surveys and collection tools. If your data streams are less, however, or there is a clear window of time between tasks to ensure the individual does not immediately jump from one to the other, architect and collector can feasibly become one role.
Following on from collecting measurements, mission 2 is where the data from these findings is interpreted into actions to improve employee experience. Because of the link between the overall aims of the roles, you could combine the roles of findings interpretation lead and experience interpretation lead into one.
When we analyse the sentiment response, the O, and T data, we work to generate not only how people are feeling, but also why they may be feeling that way. From there, it allows us to interpret the kind of experience they would be having with the myriad of IT devices, apps, or other areas that out data streams focus on. It, therefore, makes logical sense that these roles of interpreting findings and experience could be merged. If you cannot fill all roles of mission 2, this combination may work well with an analyst in order to create a two person team who will analyse and own the findings from their analysis.
A simple one to end on, mission 3 only has one role: the XMO lead, and this is a role that is always needed. Without a head, the body couldn't function. Here, it is much the same. An XMO needs a guiding leader, an individual to own, manage, and report on the progress of the team to those teams. Through leadership, relationships can be maintained with those teams that the XMO will be recommending action to. It isn't often a popular notion, to be recommended action by those you may perceive as not having to walk in your departmental shoes, so a empathetic leader who can emphasise the importance and rationale behind the XMO's purpose will be greatly beneficial to ensuring the longevity of the XMO in an organisation.
Following our suggestions, 5 roles will have been fulfilled. Ultimately, it is down to your organisation and where you think the skills of your people could be combined if not all 7 roles can be filled. If you're able to accommodate for all roles, whether that be with 4, 5 or 7 people, the general workflow between the roles of the XMO will be maintained, and thus a strong and effective XMO can be enabled. When it all comes down to it, it is the general workflow that we want to maintain, where the interconnectivity between all the roles, and in turn the XMO, is visualised.
General workflow across XMO roles ©XLACollab
If you'd like to learn more about employee experience, including the XMO, you're in the right place. Bright Horse have been at the forefront of the experience movement since before it gained such traction in recent years. We are the first organisation in the UK to offer accredited XLA education and have plenty of opportunities for courses, webinars, and consulting for you or your organisation to attend.