Top 10 Incident Management Metrics to Monitor
In a world where digital experiences are now a top priority in many industries,, a solid, well-thought system for incident management could be the difference between a thriving business and lost revenue.
When businesses are able to quickly react to and resolve incidents as they arise, their system becomes more reliable and trusted by its users. However, many of us have also experienced first-hand what can happen when incidents are not handled quickly or efficiently. Incidents occur constantly within tech systems and infrastructures, and if the right metrics are not being correctly monitored, these incidents can lead to larger issues, such as unplanned system downtime, a compromised customer experience, and ultimately, a loss of money.
Monitoring your businesses’ most important KPIs can help create more efficient incident management systems, reduce the total number of incidents within your system, and create a more reliable service for your customers. However, knowing which KPIs you should be keeping an eye on—and which are most relevant to your team—can be another challenge entirely.
In this article, we will explore the importance of KPIs in regards to incident management, as well as which 10 metrics can help greatly improve your company’s incident management processes.
What is a KPI in Incident Management?
KPIs, or “key performance indicators,” are various points of data that teams use to monitor the performance of their systems and personnel. Businesses track these different metrics to help determine whether they are hitting, SLAs, goals, and timelines.
With the complexity and scale of today’s tech systems and infrastructure, it is nearly impossible for any one human to understand the full picture. There are plenty of tools available to help collect and analyze countless metrics, such as “uptime” or “cost-per-incident-ticket.” With all this data collected, there is just as much noise to sift through. Highlighting your team’s specific key metrics or KPIs can help provide you with a much clearer picture of what’s going on internally.
Top 10 Metrics to Monitor Your Incident Management
#10 – Incidents Over Time
- What it means: The average number of incidents over a specified time period (e.g. weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually).
- What it can show: Tracking the number of incidents over time can help to reveal any trends regarding high or low frequency of incidents. If this number begins to trend upward or remains higher than usual, teams can begin investigating to figure out why this is happening.
#9 – Mean Time to Acknowledge (MTTA)
- What it means: The average amount of time between a system alert and a team member acknowledging the issue.
- What it can show: MTTA can show how quickly and effectively your team is addressing and responding to new system alerts.
#8 – Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR)
- What it means: The average amount of time it takes to respond to or resolve an incident.
- What it can show: MTTR can show how quickly your team is able to respond to or resolve issues as they arise.
#7 – Average Incident Response Time
- What it means: The amount of time it takes for an incident to be routed to the right team member.
- What it can show: Tracking this metric can show how quickly your team is able to get the right team member working on a given incident. Surprisingly, this metric accounts for an average of 73% of the total lifecycle of an incident. Working to shorten response time can dramatically speed up resolution.
#6 – First Touch Resolution Rate
- What it means: The rate at which incidents are resolved during the first occurrence with no repeat alerts.
- What it can show: This metric can show how effective your incident management system becomes over time. A high, first touch resolution rate is a sign of a mature and well-configured system.
#5 – On-Call Time
- What it means: The amount of time a given employee or contractor spends on call.
- What it can show: The on-call metric can help you make adjustments to your on-call rotation to prevent employees from becoming burned out or overburdened.
#4 – Escalation Rate
- What it means: The rate at which incidents are being escalated to higher level team members.
- What it can show: A high escalation rate may be a sign of skill gaps between team members, or inefficient workflows.
#3 – Service Legal Agreement (SLA)
- What it means: Service Legal Agreement
- What it can show: The SLA outlines an agreement between you (the provider) and your clients regarding metrics such as uptime and/or responsiveness. The SLA should be constantly monitored and updated to accurately reflect the current state of your service.
#2 – Cost Per Ticket
- What it means: The calculated cost of resolving an incident.
- What it can show: Knowing how much it costs to resolve an incident can help to determine which methods are most effective in terms of time and money spent.
#1 – Uptime
- What it means: The percentage of time your systems are properly functioning.
- What it can show: This metric is rather straightforward, showing how reliable your service is. The closer this is to 100%, the happier your customers will be. 99.9% uptime is considered by industry standards to be very good, while 99.99% is considered excellent. While perfection is nearly impossible, the goal should be to always keep this number as high as possible.
The Importance of KPIs in Incident Management
The fact is incidents happen all the time, but with all the data collected within the complex infrastructures, sifting through all the alert noise can be extremely time consuming and lead to slower incident resolution times. The goal of incident management is to catch and resolve incidents as quickly as possible in order to minimize any impact to the end users. In this example, perhaps the outage could have been avoided if a red flag had been discovered sooner.
Knowing which KPIs are most relevant to the success of your products and systems will help you maintain optimal functionality over time, creating more efficient incident management processes with increased automation and learning. Monitoring the right KPIs at the right times can highlight specific trends or weaknesses within your system so you can prevent larger outages from occurring in the future.
Key Metrics for Tracking Your Team’s Performance
Every team is different, faced with their own unique challenges and customer expectations. With this in mind, it’s important to consider how well your system is performing and how effective your incident management is at maintaining the reliability of your service or product. Tracking and monitoring your team’s performance via key metrics can help highlight any issues and weaknesses to continuously improve incident management maturity and prevent unplanned outages and downtime.
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