Nobody gets excited about ITSM metrics and reports. But to know how well you are managing your IT services, they are needed. This requirement exists for the customers and ensures that you deliver to contractual obligations.
Teams will often make the mistake of using canned reports within the ITSM tools. Often ITSM metrics and reports only serve the IT side of things. They often provide no value to the business. They can create a great deal of examination, many pivot tables, and loads of useless meetings. That is, even if people can agree on how to gather the numbers and what they mean.
In this article, we look at ITSM metrics and Reports that matter for delivering value to customers.
1. Start Over with Your ITSM Metrics and Reports
Begin at goals and mission statements. Goals need to be pertinent to your part in the business. These are your intentions and how you want your organization to look.
- Change Management – Make sure changes are effectively, efficiently, securely, and safely implemented
- IT Asset Management – Protecting and managing your investment in IT assets
- Incident Management – Mitigate or resolve incidents ASAP and with little business effect
Be transparent and concise. This transparency and conciseness establish the climate for what you want to accomplish. Create process goals, measure them, and be transparent.
2. Make Critical Success Factors (CSFs) Mean Something
Ensure CSFs align with the goals and mission statement discussed in #1.
Take change management, for instance. Maybe you have three crucial factors for success for one of the goals mentioned above. Each CSF will begin parsing your critical deliverables and outcomes in smaller pieces.
As an example, CSFs for change management may consist of:
- Provide change effectively
- Deliver change efficiently
- Provide change securely
- Deliver change safely
To define CSFs, document elements supporting preferred outcomes. Document circumstances, capabilities, and assets required to produce results and meet said goals.
3. Ensure Management of Your Business Through KPIs
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), a degree down from CSFs in the metrics tier. Get granular in measuring and metrics for KPIs. Use these to concentrate on the performance of the individual, team, and organizational levels.
As an example, KPIs for change management could consist of:
- 99.1% of changes closed are successful (Effectiveness CSF)
- 95.3% of changes delivered on time (Efficiency CSF)
- 99.8% of changes produced no vulnerabilities (Secure CSF)
- 5% of major incidents generated from a change (Safely CSF)
KPIs directly convert to CSFs with a distinct line of advancement. The point is to connect metrics from granular metrics to KPIs, to CSFs, and finally to a mission statement.
4. Check to Make Sure Service Level Agreements (SLAs) Help Everybody
Any IT professional who has circled the block a few times has heard the phrase “window dressing.” ‘Window dressing’ for SLAs is when everything related to measurements is “green.” But then peel back the layers, and there is “red” all over the place.
SLAs created with little thought is terrible for the business and everyone in it. The service and business stakeholders must take part when generating SLAs. This participation makes sure their needs get factored in. The SLA should assist in the reporting of the precise status of the business.
Examples of what this might look like:
- How does the daily service appear?
- What do you need for capacity and availability?
- How will you measure capacity?
- What is good, and what is bad?
- The expectation for latency?
Make sure everyone agrees on the targets and thresholds, making up the SLA.
5. OLAs Need to Support the SLAs
SLAs are very dependent on their underlying Operational Level Agreements (OLAs). It will not matter if your SLA says a service restoration within 2 hours. If the underlying OLAs do not support 2 hours of resolution time, you will fail to meet the SLA.
When designing SLAs, make sure the individual OLAs support the agreed service level. Ensure there is some buffer time planned.
6. Do Not Ignore Underpinning Contracts
Anyone who has been around IT for more than two seconds has seen those ‘special’ incidents. Do you know the one that comes out of nowhere and explodes in your face? This explosion usually happens when a third-party organization comes into the picture.
Underpinning contracts (UCs) are SLAs between two businesses. An example would be a service agreement with the telco who supplies your connection. UCs also need reviewing to ensure they support the SLAs must align with the SLA.
7. Measure Your Customer’s Experience
Meeting the SLAs is not the end-all-be-all. Yes, from an agreement and contractual standpoint, they may meet the need. But the recognized value to the customer is the determining factor for a happy customer. That is what we want to see.
To keep customers, a provider must go beyond SLAs and measure the customer experience. You can still meet the SLA and have a dissatisfied customer. If end-users are complaining about your service desk or technicians, you have problems.
Surveys and self-help articles allow the end-users to review service. This surveying and self-help knowledge is an easy win, and most issues get addressed quickly. It will enable proactive engagement with the customer’s decision-makers.
Add customer experience and satisfaction measurements to your metrics and reporting. Capture most end-user satisfaction and experience at your organization’s interface, the service desk. Collect feedback over the phone, email, self-service portals, and self-help pages and articles
Make sure the end-user experience is similar across all platforms. Then ensure you communicate concisely, professionally, and clearly.
Do not short staff the service desk. Ensure appropriate staffing. Staff it with people who have not only technical skills but people skills as well.
8. Compliance Is Important and Needs Measuring
Being transparent is essential to excellent communication and building trust. Often, it is the law. Laws related to SOX, HIPPA, and Privacy Act and others need measured and reported.
Internal auditing, compliance training, risk management, policies, and governance are common compliance areas. These metrics and reports are prominent gauges of risk. They are essential to not only the success but can be life or death for the organization.
Example of what compliance metrics might look like:
- Quantity of open compliance incidents/problems
- Amount of closed compliance incidents /problems
- Quantity of overdue audit incidents/problems
9. Continual Service Improvement (CSI) of ITSM Metrics and Reports
Integrating Continual Service Improvement (CSI) into your metrics and reports provides quality management. It makes sure there is constant improvement in the services. It ensures the delivery of value to the customer.
The easiest way to begin a CSI program is to create a CSI register. Use it to record recommendations for improvements. Continuously update the registry based on regular status meetings and customer feedback. Put the quick wins in place ASAP and communicate them to your customer and their end-users. It will go a long way.
10. Customize ITSM Metrics and Reports to the Stakeholder
Make sure your metrics and reports target the audience. Different stakeholders need and only care about certain information. A blanket report will not cut it.
Do not send reports of your budget performance to your service desk technicians. I guarantee you, from experience, they do not care. They are only concerned about working end-user challenges. Keep it that way!
Your customer does not care about your Configuration Management Database (CMDB) accuracy, either. So, please do not make them sit through a brief on it. Besides, you may open a can of worms you cannot close back up. Adapt your reports to the stakeholder; make sure you know what they want to see. You can, and should, address this in the SLAs. Do not add any more or any less. Use CSI to make sure all reports are still providing value to you and the customer. If they are not, use CSI to add value, remove metrics that do not add value, or drop the report entirely.
Conclusion of ITSM Metrics & Reports
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