Problem Management KPIs
Problem Management KPIs or Key performance indicators can in my experience drive the wrong behaviours. In fact most KPIs drive the wrong behaviours. That being said I understand there is a need to measure success and failure so here are some Problem Management KPIs I have come across.
Problem Management KPIs | Close 50% of Problems in a month
The Problem management process completes within one month and the Problem is closed. It is hard for me to find any positive with this approach. It does drive speed as a critical success factor, which can be a good thing. If the timeframe was extended to two or three months it might fit better into my process. For example I monitor fixes I implement for several weeks to ensure they are robust.
Problem Management KPIs | 50% of Root Causes identified in 48 hours
This is an Incident KPI! A Quantitative approach rather than qualitative. Problem Management is about quality, identifying the root cause to ensure no recurrences. It cannot (in my opinion) have time drivers as quality will be severely reduced. The time could be extended to a month and this would reduce the loss of quality, however this would still reduce quality as people try to hit targets. The same approach could be taken to Fix Implemented with a slightly lower % if this Problem Management KPI was to be used.
Problem Management KPIs | Reduce Incident volumes
The overall aim of Problem Management is to reduce Incidents or Impact to the customer. This is an excellent Problem Management KPI. To ensure the Problem Management KPI is fair I would suggest doing this on a monthly basis based on the same month from the previous years. This will ensure seasonal spikes are accounted for.
Problem Management KPIs | Reduce Impacted Business Hours
If the reporting of impacted user hours is accurate this is a great Problem Management KPI. Problem Management need to focus not just on reducing incidents but reducing the incidents that cause the most impact to customers.
Problem Management KPIs | Number of open Problems
It is a desired result to have a low number of Problems open. As this should mean that all root causes have been eradicated, however if this is a target it certainly does not drive the right behaviours. My main concern with this is that Problems would be rejected prior to entering the process and be closed prematurely.
Problem Management KPIs | Number of repeat Incidents after Root Cause established
This is one of the more interesting Problem Management KPIs I have seen used. It suggests that once a root cause is established there should be a ‘VERY’ low number of recurrences as the issue is understood and action can be taken quickly and decisively to avoid recurrence. In my experience this is not always the case and could certainly distort when the Root cause established action is taken.
Problem Management KPIs | Number of Incidents solved by Service Desk Increasing
Another interesting Problem Management KPI that I have seen used to no great benefit. The mind-set here is that Problem Management will be implementing workarounds and issuing these instructions to Service desk to allow for more incidents to be corrected first line. This may be true to some extent, however I would urge away for this as a KPI. I would rather the root cause was eradicated (no contact to service desk) rather than a quick win workaround, which this KPI would promote.
Problem Management KPIs | Customer satisfaction survey | Net Promoter Score
Customer satisfaction surveys and net promoter scores are now being used across most organisations as external and internal benchmarks. This can also make good IT services KPIs, however as a Problem Management KPI it may struggle depending on the organisation. Problem Management is often a poorly understood art when it comes to the business. The business sees Incident Management as the resolver of all Incidents, including eradicating root causes. If the business does have the knowledge available to complete a specific survey then this is certainly the best measure as the other measures truthfully don’t matter. Problem Management should be supporting its customers as its customers dictate, not how it is dictated in ITIL principles!
Problem Management KPIs | Re-opened Problems
This Problem Management KPI looks at how effective Problem Management is at getting to the ‘real’ root cause. If a Problem is closed with a fix implemented it should at no point recur in the future if it does then there has been a failing somewhere. This KPI should be nil.
What are the best Problem Management KPIs?
Problem Manager comments on Problem Management KPIs
KPI’s rarely drive the right behaviours. Generally KPI’s tend to focus on figures that can be manipulated as highlighted above. The best KPI is how your customer feels about the service you perform. If this figure is low then the customer needs to justify the figure to allow action to be taken.
Once you have decided which Problem Management KPI’s to use. Next is to decide how to communicate these to stakeholders, through effective Problem Management Communications.
HP Problem Management KPIs can be seen here, for a taste of what big organisations are using.