Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
Resources, Best Practices, and Solutions for ITSM Pros

The Science of Service Desk Metrics

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Metrics. They are everywhere. I was asked to write this blog and was requested to write about 400 words within 48 hours. See what I mean? Not just a blog but also a monitored event, and we have to take into account a time diffThe Science of Service Desk Metricserence as I am writing this blog from Texas, and the 48 hour target is for UK time!

Metrics are everywhere. For example, what are some of the questions you ask when a baby is born? How big? What did it weigh? Starting life with a metric! Our lives start with our details being logged and would you believe it, it ends with stats: date and reason for death! Are there too many metrics or just aimless recording of data?

The same can be said of IT, which has tons and tons of statistics, but are they just pointless, or do they provide a basis for the progression and management of service? There are three distinct approaches that can help us to better manage and control our IT services: delivering the deliverables, performance versus quality, and component criteria optimising.

Delivering the deliverables is all about achieving fit for purpose. For example, using Service Level Agreements as a basis to provide targets that meet the customer’s requirements. Performance versus quality is an eternal problem and challenge for ITSM because it is not just how quick you perform a service but how well you provide that service. Unfortunately, ITSM is pressured into performance issues to save costs and increase speed, but this can lead to poor quality.

The result? Poor survey responses. Understanding the nature of ITSM components is a key to providing the correct measurement of services because some are action components, some are influencing components, some are resourcing components while some are underpinning components. Getting to grips with these components can clarify a foggy mess of data.

Get those survey results improved by understanding that whatever you measure. Your customers see delivering the objectives set out in SLAs as the prime success criteria. Remember, more haste less speed. Don’t let performance rule over all the other metrics. As the old saying goes, measure twice and cut once. Finally, categorise your components for focused monitoring.

I’m just four words shy of hitting my 400 word blog target. But, I did hit my due-date target. Does my customer think I hit the agreed SLA?

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