Problem Management KPIs

Measuring effectiveness of the problem management process can be a challenging task at times. This is because you often do not have enough data if your other processes are not mature enough. Also, expectations of senior management can push you to the limits of your analytical skills. For example, what would you do if you had to provide the "number of incidents prevented last month due to problems solved"? I am sure you see my point.

Here are the problem management performance indicators, which I find useful:

  • number of problems registered,
  • number of problems solved,
  • number and percentage of problems with root cause identified,
  • number and percentage of problems with workaround available,
  • average age of a problem, per business impact,
  • percentage of incidents related to (caused by) problems in relation to all incidents in a particular time period,
  • update frequency of open problems.
Update frequency is the KPI I like a lot, especially in the early stages of Problem Management implementation. It shows the regularity of work performed by Problem Analysts. In order for the process to be effective, work on it must not be put away forever. It tends to happen if you have your people doing other, more time-pressing activities in parallel. Many businesses cannot afford the luxury of having dedicated Problem Analysts and/or Problem Managers. Since Problem Management puts more focus on quality of analysis than the time of its completion, you might have issues with people focusing on the job if you don't have a KPI to monitor it.

The above KPIs should be looked at collectively to determine the quality of your Problem Management activities. You should be concerned if you open few problems the way the police should be concerned if they detect few crimes. They are there, the question is if you can detect them or not. You should also react if any other KPI starts deviate significantly towards its highs or lows. Frequently, if that happens, you can get an idea of what is going on by looking at the other KPIs. Few problems solved? Check your problem update frequency, for example.

Tip for improving all those KPIs: work closely with your Service Desk. After all, they feed you data. Good incident registration process is key for subsequent  root-cause analysis.

Any other KPIs that you have found useful? Let me know how they work for you.


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