As digital services have become increasingly important to businesses and organizations, reducing downtimes and service disruptions have become critical objectives for business operations. This means management reporting and KPI's are now crucial to quality management, providing the insight to let you improve incident remediation over time.
Tracking incident management metrics means you can utilize the data available to set benchmarks and goals, measure and reduce incident impact, and identify and anticipate recurring service problems.
But which metrics should you track, and how can you be sure you won't get bogged down in too much data?
What Is A KPI In Incident Management?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are data points that teams use to monitor the performance of their systems and personnel performance. By tracking these different metrics in the short, medium, and long term, you'll be able to see if your goals and timelines are being met. Of course, given the scale and complexity of today's tech infrastructures, this is no easy task, so tools that can gather this data for you in an easy-to-understand way are essential for most organizations. Once you have the right tools to do this, the next step is to decide on the metrics and KPIs important to your organization.
What Metrics and KPIs Should Be Tracked Within Incident Management?
When considering which metrics to track, it may seem like measuring as much as possible will be the best way to ensure you get all the information you need. And while incident management software can capture vast amounts of data, analyzing it all can be far too time-consuming and obscure issues rather than clarify them.
So, what are some of the metrics you should be keeping a close eye on?
- Number of Alerts Created
If you're using an alerting tool, it's helpful to know how many alerts are generated in a specific period, whether a week, a month, or longer. Analyzing this over time will give you a baseline of how busy the team is and help to identify periods with significant increases or decreases or notable changes over a longer period. Once you spot a trend, you can dig deeper and try to find out why those changes are happening and how your teams are addressing them.
- Mean Time Between Failures
MTBF is the average time between repairable failures of a product or tool. It can help you track availability and reliability across assets. Analyzing this will enable you to see if systems are failing more regularly than expected so you can assign a resource to reduce or prevent such issues. Tracking incidents over time means looking at the average number of incidents in a given period, whether weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly or even daily. Look at whether incidents are happening more or less frequently over time and if the number of incidents is at an acceptable level or whether it needs to be reduced. If you identify a problem with the number of incidents being reported, you can start to ask questions about why that number is trending upward or staying high and what the team can do to resolve the issue.
- Average Incident Response Time
Measuring this will tell you if your resolution times are as they should be and how quickly your team can get the right person working on an incident. If times are higher than expected, it's time to delve deeper into why and examine how issues are communicated.
Mean time to repair, resolve, respond, or recovery is a key metric that tracks the time spent diagnosing and fixing a problem and ensuring it doesn't happen again. It will show how long, on average, it takes to respond to and resolve an incident.
While metrics that show how you're responding to incidents are crucial, it's also worth measuring the percentage of time your systems are actually up and fully functioning. The industry standard is 99.9% uptime is very good, and 99.99% is excellent. If you're currently below this, use the data available and work with your team to find out why – chances are there are multiple reasons, not one quick fix.
- First-time Fixes
This will show you how incidents are resolved during the first occurrence with no repeat alerts. By keeping an eye on this over time, you'll be able to see how effective your incident management processes become – a high rate of first-time fixes suggests your systems are working well.
- SLA Compliance Rate
Having made promises in service level agreements, such as uptime and response times, you must be aware of any breaches or issues that were slow to resolve. SLA compliance rate should be constantly monitored and updated to accurately reflect your service's current state.
- Cost Per Ticket
By tracking how much it costs to resolve each incident, you can determine which methods are most effective in terms of time and money spent, thus boosting efficiencies in the long run.
Other metrics worth tracking include incident backlog, the number of pending incidents in the queue without a resolution, and the percentage of major incidents, that is how many incidents are deemed major compared to the total number reported. These can both help you to get a thorough understanding of the situation and how effectively incidents are being managed.
Worker Performance and Incident Management
Giving your team clear KPIs for incident management and realistic goals is a great way to ensure their performance matches the broader organizational goals of minimal disruption and maximum uptime. If the metrics are continuously missed, it's vital to reassess rather than keep enforcing the same targets. For example, if average incident response time is consistently higher than the target, you need to find out why. Are the systems in place insufficient, are your alerts set up most effectively, or is there a deficiency in the team setup or skillset? Delving into the data will help you reveal the root cause so you can make the necessary changes.
While having access to all this data is invaluable, it's also essential to consider the human element of incident management. For example, while you can see from your KPIs that incidents are taking longer to fix, you won't be able to see if the complexity of incidents is increasing or the risks associated with them are higher, or the unexpected elements are more significant, and so on. Combining data with input from the team will help you make significant improvements that will last.
StatusCast offers a great starting point for this insight with its Task Reporting. This enables you to measure how effective individuals and teams are at remediation when performing the specific tasks assigned to them, creating the opportunity to identify bottlenecks in the incident management process relative to task assignment.
Another metric to consider here is on-call time. If you have an on-call rotation, tracking how much time employees and contractors spend on call can be worthwhile to ensure team members aren't overburdened. An incident management solution that helps you manage your IT team and organize shift working and on-call support can be invaluable here.
StatusCast Incident Management
To make sure you're able to access the data that matters to you quickly and in a format that makes sense, the right incident management software is essential. With StatusCast, you'll have access to clear, accurate information via intuitive dashboards that give you the necessary information. Incident reporting provides a detailed analysis of past incidents to measure team efficiency and resolution time and identify IT assets prone to problems. You can also automatically keep track of the operational uptime for all your corporate assets or across every individual component and service. StatusCast also provides a fully auditable record of every notification sent to your team, employees, customers, and partners. With StatusCast notification reporting, you get traceability of the communication history of each incident so you can be clear on how your team is responding.
These are just a few ways StatusCast can help you monitor and measure your incident management response to ensure rapid responses and successful resolutions now and in the longer term.
Book a demo now or start your free trial to find out more.