Which are the Best ITSM Metrics & KPIs?

Which are the Best ITSM Metrics & KPIs?


SLA - Service Level Agreement

Service availability:

  • Reliability
  • Maintainability
  • Serviceability
  • Performance
  • Security

We calculate availability as a percentage based on agreed service time (as defined in the SLA) and downtime.

Most SLAs will have a percentage of allowable downtime. Imagine this is three hours per month. A significant outage could quickly fill up all the downtime specified in the SLA(Understandable by Customer).

But if a critical service has momentary interruptions at regular intervals. If it is unavailable 60 times each month for 3 minutes at a time, these service interruptions cause significant disruption to productivity.

Tip: Ensure that you report not just the total downtime for the month but also the number of service disruptions.


Time to resolve

MTTR-The mean time to resolve is the average time to resolve an incident once it is reported to the service desk, sorted by priority.

This metric relates to customer satisfaction: the faster you resolve issues, the faster your customer can get back to work.

However, anyone can easily manipulate this metric. If calls are closed too quickly, without confirming with the customer resolution is complete, the MTTR may look good—but your customers will not be happy.

This phenomenon is known as watermelon metrics. Your dashboards are green, but customer satisfaction is red when you cut & open.

Note: Rewarding increasing MTTR numbers could be counterproductive.


First contact resolution rate

First Contact Resolution (FCR) rate is the percentage of issues resolved during the first call itself, hence eliminating further calls or conversations on the issue.

FCR rate results in a happy customer. It is important and save dollars because service desk resources are less costly than L2 and L3 support.

P.S: This can be manipulated like MTTR, closing calls quickly, without ensuring the resolution & customer remains unhappy.


SLA breach rate

A service level agreement (SLA) breach rate is the % of tickets that have broken an SLA. For example, if a critical ticket was resolved in ten hours instead of four hours, as required by an SLA, this ticket has breached the SLA.

Insufficient staff and capabilities of staff are the two main reasons for SLA breach. Increased SLA breach numbers usually lead to more training or more staff to prevent future breaches.

Tip: Frequent breaches indicate that the SLA is unrealistic. Renegotiate or revisit operational level agreements (OLAs) to support SLA agreements.


User satisfaction

End-user satisfaction is usually measured via a periodic survey or other mechanism.

Here also the watermelon effect plays a role. Service management KPIs(Key Process Indicators) are all looking good, the dashboards is green, but customers are still unhappy.

It shows either you’re measuring the wrong things or analyzing with a wrong lens.

Tip: The primary aim of service management is happy customers and users, meet business expectations, and enable the IT organization to progress its vision and mission. If your customers are unhappy then metrics don’t matter! Simple.


Cost per ticket

Cost per ticket (or cost per contact) is the dollar value of operating expense divided by ticket or contact volume.

Operating expenses include salaries & benefits, HW, SW, Telecom and other expenses.

While this metric won’t impact the CX(customers experience), it is an important business measure.

Understanding the cost of support and corroborating with other metrics like CSAT(customer satisfaction) will tell whether the organization is underinvesting or overinvesting in support.

Note: High CSAT with a high per-ticket cost indicates over-spending. Optimize.


Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is another good way of knowing customer satisfaction and loyalty with a product, service, or company.

The usual survey question is “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?”

NPS = % of high score(9-10) minus % of low scores(equal or below 6), ignoring neutral scores (7 and 8).

Tip: NPS is a useful metric for ITSM organizations


A viewpoint on how to best analyse NPS and see comments too: Net Promoter Score: A Constructive Critique


Calls reopened

The number of calls reopened because the incident closed before fully resolving it.

Target for complete customer satisfaction and resolution on an issue. Calls should be closed only after ensuring issue is fixed.

Tip: Calles reopened can quickly reduce customer happiness than a slow, yet complete resolution.


Knowledge articles published

The number of knowledge articles over a period.

Self-service knowledge articles reduce the service desk’s workload by empowering users to resolve their own IT-related issues.

Most of the workforce has a high level of digital literacy. They expect to resolve most IT issues themselves by searching online or in this you provide a well-guided KB(Knowledgebase) article.

Tip: Increased number of KB articles will give a positive indicator for your service desk.


End-user knowledge article access frequency

How often your customers use the knowledgebase articles will indicate the effectiveness of the information/KB article.

If articles are not being used, then we need to educate customers about available self-help and point them to the required information.

Tip: This metric can be important for the problem management area. While customers can resolve an issue themselves, the very issue indicates a loss of productivity, where problem management can intervene and resolve it once for all.


Number of Tickets Processed and Ticket/Service Agent Ratio

These two simple metrics shows the number of tickets submitted during specific shift, hour, day, week, etc. and create a ratio of tickets/available service agents during those times.

This is a key KPI that relates to staffing levels and productivity.


Top IT services with the most incidents

Uncovers which services are failing, causing the most Service Desk support. Helpful for problem management & detecting IT services that need changes.


We call it First-Touch Resolution Rate - First-touch resolution rate is the percentage of incidents resolved the first time, with no repeat calls.

High first-time incident resolution means greater customer satisfaction and is a sign of incident management maturity.


Recategorized Incidents are defined as the number of incidents diagnosed incorrectly while creating them. Automated tools or front-line agents may be responsible for it.

Tip: We can improve this metric by optimizing & purge irrelevant categories/subcategories, updating ticket creation checklists and correcting automatic assignments.


Incidents By Other Than Self-Service Channels - Number of tickets opened via email, by phone, and walk-in bypassing a self-service portal.

Tip: This metric can uncover inefficiencies, solving problems and opportunities to improve your knowledge base.


Incidents With No Known Resolution - Number of tickets not able to be resolved even with known attempts is one of the more critical ITSM metrics.

P.S: This can reveal agent skills gaps or flaws in Knowledge Management & Problem Management.

@AAT Thanks for your thread, I remembered this.


KPI’s measures how much value is created for Organizations and people, Information and technology, Partners and suppliers & the value streams and processes


Curated the best metrices and KPIs in our article especially for customer happiness and satisfaction: