Service Desk KPI’s: Top 5 Performance Indicators

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service desk kpi's

This is the third blog in our five-part series on “Delivering a World Class Service Desk.” In our last installment, we discussed three essential traits to look for in the people who staff your service desk. This time, we’ll talk about how you can track and measure performance to make sure your service desk is living up to user expectations as well as your own high standards.

There’s more to creating a world-class service desk than embracing the right tools and principles. To make sure your vision is translating into reality, it’s essential to measure the effectiveness of your service desk in the areas that matter most for efficiency, effectiveness, and customer satisfaction. There are endless key performance indicators (KPIs) to choose from, some more meaningful than others; this blog covers the most critical factors we pay attention to here at BMC. They’re not necessarily as sexy as the metrics-of-the-month around the latest ITSM trends, but they’re absolutely foundational. Simply put, without measuring these KPIs, there’s no way to know how well you’re really doing.

Here are the five most important KPIs to keep your high-performance service desk on track. By making sure you’re hitting these targets, and taking corrective measures when you fall short, you can drive real improvements in the service you deliver.

Increase/Decrease of Incident Re-Assignments

Incidents and requests that are moved among support teams take longer to resolve. Manage your teams to ensure that these are forwarded to the correct support group the first time by updating work logs and following incident management processes and best practices.

Details:

  • Reporting frequency: Monthly
  • Measurement procedure: Count of incident re-assignment per ticket
  • Target range: <5

Decrease of Incorrectly Assigned Incidents

An incorrectly routed incident wastes everyone’s time and delays time to resolution. Again, manage this count downward by retraining service desk staff on incident management processes and best practices.

Details:

  • Reporting frequency: Monthly
  • Measurement procedure: Count of incident re-assigned/Total incidents * 100
  • Target Range: 20% (or lower) – 35%

Increase in Incidents Responded within Target

Your responsiveness to reported incidents is a critical factor in both customer satisfaction and the credibility of IT among business users. Make sure you’re meeting expectations by hitting defined service level targets the vast majority of the time, and work to continually improve your success rate.

Details:

  • Reporting frequency: Weekly/Monthly/Quarterly
  • Measurement procedure: Incident Responded within Target/Total Resolved Incidents * 100
    • This should be measured by Priority where Critical is 100%
  • Target Range:
    • >95% “Green”
    • 90 – 95% “Yellow”
    • <=90% “RED”

Increase in Incidents Resolved within Target

There may be no more important metric than your ability to fix problems as quickly as you’ve promised to. This metric validates your core effectiveness as a service desk in resolving incidents within defined service level targets.

Details:

  • Reporting frequency: Weekly/Monthly/Quarterly
  • Measurement procedure: Incident Responded within Target/Total Resolved Incidents * 100
    • This should be measured by Priority where Critical is 100%
  • Target Range:
    • >95% “Green”
    • 90 – 95% “Yellow”
    • <=90% “RED”

Reduction in Aging Incidents by Priority (Backlog)

Your backlog should keep you up at night—it might well be costing your business users some sleep, too. Clear out aging incidents (defined as those more than 14 days old) to keep users satisfied and avoid high support time and cost.

Details:

  • Reporting frequency: Weekly/Monthly/Quarterly
  • Measurement procedure:
    • Aging: Today’s Date – Submit Date
    • Untouched Tickets: Today’s Date – Incident Last Modified
    • Aging Incident Count / Total Open Incident *100
  • Target Range:
    • Overall <30%
    • Also by priority level
      • Critical: 0%
      • High: <5%
      • Medium: <10%
      • Low: <15%

These aren’t the only five KPIs you’ll use to measure the performance of your service desk, of course. There will be other meaningful factors to track according to the priorities of your business, the nature of your infrastructure, and the needs of your users. But if you’re consistently hitting and improving on these five metrics, you’re well on your way to becoming a truly high-performance service desk.

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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Blaine Bryant

Blaine Bryant

Blaine Bryant, Director, IT Service Management and IT Finance is responsible for all aspects of service management and financial performance for BMC Software’s IT organization. Mr. Bryant has over 20 years of managerial experience running IT operations and governance in software, financial services, and consulting services industries. Mr. Bryant is an ITILv3 Expert, possesses a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), is a TOGAF9 certified Enterprise Architect, and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Prior to joining BMC Software, Mr. Bryant was Vice President of IT Operations for Lender Processing Services – RealEC technology platform, which transacts all mortgage loan origination product orders for 90% of the banks in the United States. Prior to joining Lender Processing Services, Mr. Bryant served as Senior Vice President and Director, IT Operations for Franklin Bank responsible for all aspects of
the Bank’s IT operations. Prior to joining Franklin Bank, Mr. Bryant served as the Global Infrastructure Director for Resolution Performance Products LLP, a coatings industry leader and a spin-off of Shell Chemical. While at RPP, Mr. Bryant managed a global IT organization operating over thirty locations in twelve countries.

Mr. Bryant completed the CIO Institute program at the University of Texas in 2013. He completed his Masters of Business Administration in 2005 at the University of Phoenix – Houston Campus, where he graduated at the top of his class. Mr. Bryant completed his Bachelors of Business Administration at Texas A & M University where he specialized in Business Analysis and Management Information Systems.

Mr. Bryant lives in Katy, Texas with his wife and two sons. He enjoys traveling, cooking, and endurance road cycling.