In today’s always-on world, technical incidents and outages matter more than ever before. Downtimes and glitches come with critical consequences costing huge sums per hour in the form of reduced productivity and revenue along with maintenance costs. This is why it is important that companies track their incident management effectiveness.
Incident management metrics help teams understand how often incidents occur and how quickly they are coming out of them. These performance metrics provide an effective way to detect, diagnose, fix and prevent future incidents.
Incident Management KPIs – Getting Started
Key Performance Indicators are tracking tools that help organizations find out how well they are achieving desired goals. When it comes to incident management, companies rely on metrics around the number of incidents, uptime, downtime, the average time between incidents, and the average time taken to resolve issues.
Tracking incident management KPIs can help diagnose and identify problems with systems, set realistic goals for the teams, and prevent bigger issues. For example, if an organization has set a goal to resolve incidents in 1 hour but the teams take 1.5 hours on average. In the absence of proper metrics, it is difficult to find out what is wrong – whether the team or the tech has a problem, if the process is broken, if the tools need an update or whether the alert system is slow.
If you add incident management KPIs, you know how long the alert system takes and can easily rule out the problem. If you find that diagnostic tools are taking much time, you can work on them. You can also compare the time taken by different teams and find out why one team takes more time than another. KPIs don’t fix your problems but help you understand where the issue lies so that you can focus your resources on digging deeper at the right places for quicker solutions.
Major Incident Management Metrics
Here are some of the most important metrics worth adding to the incident management process.
It is the total number of incidents logged. It can be tracked over a period of time like monthly, quarterly, annually, or even weekly or daily. Tracking incidents over time helps you understand the average number of incidents and find out if it is acceptable or should be lowered. Once you identify the problem with this number, it is easy to determine what you can do to resolve the issue.
First time fixes
It is the measure of how many customers reporting incidents receive an instant resolution. This metric works only when the incident is reported over the phone and has no significance when they are reported by email or web portal.
Mean time between failures is a metric that helps track the time between any two problems in a product or system. This metric can help track the reliability of a product and avoid bigger issues. If the MTBF is low, you can find out why systems fail so often and what you can do to reduce future failures.
MTTA stands for mean time to acknowledge and it is a metric that tracks the average time a team member takes to acknowledge an incident and start working on it once an alert is received. This metric helps understand how responsive the incident response team is.
Mean time to detect refers to the average time taken by an incident response team to diagnose the problem. If the metric is changing or not hitting the mark, it is worth asking why.
Mean time to repair, respond or recover is a useful metric that tracks the time spent on diagnosing and fixing a problem and also the time spent on making sure the problem does not occur again.
It is the amount of time for which the systems are functional. While there is no guaranteed 100% uptime, this metric helps you track your success towards customer satisfaction.
ITIL Incident Management
When IT is concerned, incident management is a key process that needs consideration. It aims at handling and escalating incidents as they occur in order to restore the ideal levels of service. ITIL incident management does not deal with the problem itself but the goal of this process is to close the reported incidents.
Once established, effective ITIL incident management provides value to the business. The process involves creating incident models that allow teams to efficiently resolve issues. The most important aspect of ITIL incident management is the service desk that enables staff to handle different issues instantly. The support desk is often divided into tiers, based on the severity of issues.
According to ITIL, incident management should go through the following steps for the best results:
- Response –
Such a structured process ensures efficient incident handling to deliver continual uptime. It allows incidents to be resolve in expected timeframes which would otherwise not be possible.
Incident Management KPI Dashboard
Incidents are often the source of important information that managers would want to see. They are generally interested in seeing measurable indicators of incident response. Such indicators would help determine how efficient the IR team is and how they can improve. An incident management KPI dashboard gives easy access to a rich interface. This dashboard is intended to help analysts get a quick view of details and metrics. Allowing them to take steps to manage the incidents through their lifecycle.
Role of an Incident Manager
An incident manager is one of the most critical roles in an incident response team. An incident manager, or a problem manager. Bears the overall responsibility during an incident and coordinates and directs different aspects of incident response. They are in charge of all the responsibilities until designated to somebody in the team.
An incident manager has to be reactive as well as proactive depending on the situation he deals with. As he is responsible for assigning duties to other employees, he also has some management responsibilities. It is the incident manager’s duty to train and schedule IT people for the help desk. Once an incident is reported, he keeps a record of the issue and tries to find ways to avoid such problems in the future. The role is also responsible for organizing customer support for products and services.
An incident manager should also make sure all the IT systems are update and maintaine regularly. He has to pay attention to small details to ensure that the bigger system with such a large number of components runs smoothly all the time.