In today’s advancing world, digital experiences are a top priority across industries; technical outages and incidents matter more than ever before. System downtime incurs companies’ huge losses in the form of maintenance costs, lost revenue, and productivity. Gauging the effectiveness of the incident management system is thus one of the requirements for any business.
Monitoring key performance indicators would help teams create a more efficient incident management system, reduce the number of incidents and serve customers better. However, it is often challenging to understand what metrics and indicators are relevant for your business. In this post, we take a look at some of the most significant incident management KPIs companies should keep track of.
Incident Management KPIs – Getting Started
KPIs are useful tracking tools that help businesses find out if they are meeting set goals. Incident management KPIs provide meaningful insights into the processes and systems and help set benchmarks for the teams to work on. For example, if a business sets a goal to resolve incidents in 2 hours but takes 3 hours on average, it becomes difficult to understand what is wrong when there are no proper metrics.
When incident management KPIs are added, you know how long it takes to acknowledge, respond and resolve incidents. With these metrics, it is easier to rule out the problem. You can easily compare teams and try to find out why one team takes longer than the other. If you discover that diagnostics take too much time, you can work on improving that process. KPIs help understand where the problem lies so that you can put efforts in the right places.
What Is KPI In Incident Management?
KPI or Key Performance Indicators are different points of data that teams utilize to monitor their system performance. Businesses often use metrics to determine whether they are meeting their timelines, objectives, and goals. These are tracking tools that help teams identify and diagnose problems in their systems, set goals and prevent potential problems.
Considering the complexity of today’s systems and infrastructure, it is difficult for a single individual to understand the complete picture. This is where KPIs prove to be useful. Companies can use a number of tools to collect and analyze metrics like uptime, downtime, number of incidents, time taken to resolve problems, and time between incidents. Highlighting the key metrics or KPIs helps teams get a clearer picture of what is going on.
Major Incident Management Metrics
Let us look at some of the most significant metrics that make an incident management process efficient.
Total Number of Incidents
The metric suggests how many total incidents were reported over a week, month, quarter, or year. Tracking incident count helps understand the trends in the frequency of incidents. If the number goes higher, you can investigate why it is happening.
Average Incident Response Time
This metric refers to the time it takes to delegate the incident to the right team member. Tracking this metric shows how quickly the system gets working on an incident.
Mean Time To Acknowledge (MTTA)
This is the average time between a system alert and the acknowledgment by a team member. This metric shows how quickly you are responding to incident alerts.
Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR)
MTTR is the average time it takes to resolve an incident. The difference between MTTA and MTTR shows how quickly you address the problem after it has been acknowledged.
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)
MTBF is the average time between failures of a product. It helps track reliability and availability for different products. A lower MTBF means you should work on preventing and reducing failures.
First Time Fixes
This metric measures the number of incidents that resolve instantly without a repeat alert. It shows how effective your system becomes over time. A higher number signals a well-configured incident management system.
Uptime refers to the time your system is properly functioning. It is a simple metric that shows how reliable your system is. The closer your uptime is to 100%, the more satisfied your customers are. Though it is difficult to attain perfection, businesses should aim to keep it as high as possible.
It is important to understand how often the system experiences downtime, how often it affects customers, and what costs are associated with the downtime. If you don’t keep track of the downtime amount, it is difficult to find out how reliable your system is.
ITIL Incident Management
As far as Information Technology is concerned, incident management is a key consideration. It intends to escalate and address incidents as they occur to restore expected service levels. ITIL incident management does not address the problem but aims at closing reported incidents.
An effective ITIL incident management system, when in place, delivers a lot of value to a business. It comprises processes that allow teams to resolve problems efficiently. A service desk is the most crucial component of ITIL incident management as it allows the staff to address various issues instantly. The support desk is generally classified into tiers depending on the severity of the problems.
To achieve desired results, an ITIL incident management should comprise of the following steps:
- Response – Diagnosis
A process that follows such a predefined structure makes sure incidents are handled efficiently and continual uptime is guaranteed. It enables teams to resolve issues in an expected timeframe which is otherwise not possible.
Incident Management KPI Dashboard
Incident management KPIs provide useful information to managers, helping them determine how efficient the incident response system is and how it can be improved. An incident response KPI dashboard gives quick access to a comprehensive interface intended to give analysts an easy view of all the metrics and details. With this type of analysis, it becomes easy to manage incidents through their lifecycle.
Role of An Incident Manager
A key position in an incident response team of an organization, the incident manager is responsible for coordinating different aspects of incident response in case of an event. He is in charge of the entire system until assigned to other people. An incident manager designates duties to team members and has to deal with the situation proactively and reactively.
An incident manager is also responsible for training IT personnel for the help desk. Whenever an incident occurs, he logs the issue and works on finding ways to avoid the same problem in the future. He also arranges for customer support for different products and services. The role is also responsible for ensuring timely updating and maintenance of IT systems. He addresses smaller issues on time to make sure the bigger system runs smoothly.
Every company has unique challenges and customer expectations. This is why it is important to monitor how effectively your incident management system maintains the reliability of your service. Tracking the performance through KPIs helps understand weaknesses and problems to be able to improve your system function and minimize downtime.