Monitoring and Analysing Metrics
Once we have our data, what then? How do we use it?
Working on the assumption that an ITSM or Incident Management tool is in place and offers real-time dashboards and analytics, the manager/team leader should be able to spin data in many different ways, probably too many.
Here are some of the ways you can use it.
Regular reporting and meetings
Regular reporting and meetings are great for keeping your team informed and aligned with your help desk goals.
Establish a reporting cadence that works for your organisation, such as weekly, biweekly, or monthly, and use these reports to review key metrics, discuss progress towards goals, and identify areas for improvement.
In addition to sharing reports with your team, you should communicate your help desk's performance to senior management. This helps demonstrate your team's value and fosters a culture of transparency and accountability within the organisation.
Identifying trends and patterns
By monitoring metrics, you can identify trends and patterns that may indicate areas of success or potential issues. Look for changes over time and correlations between different KPIs. For example, a sudden increase in ticket volume may be accompanied by a decrease in the First Contact Resolution rate, indicating that your team is struggling to manage the increased workload.
Once you've identified trends and patterns, you can dig deeper to understand the underlying causes and develop strategies to address them. This may involve investigating specific incidents, soliciting agent feedback, or reviewing internal processes and procedures.
Here are some common patterns to look for:
Seasonal or Time-Based Fluctuations
Analyse ticket volume over various periods (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly) to identify recurring peaks and lulls. Knowing when these are can help you resource more effectively but also ask why?
Track incidents with similar root causes or from the same category to detect patterns indicating underlying issues or areas for process improvement.
Identify incidents with a high impact on your organisation due to their frequency or the resources required for resolution. We want to target this as a priority.
Analyst Performance Trends
Monitor analyst performance to identify skill gaps or areas where additional training or resources may be needed. Do they favour certain types of incidents (i.e. cherry picking)? Or do they escalate a high percentage of certain categories?
Root Cause Analysis
Identify the underlying reasons behind incidents to address systemic issues and prevent a recurrence. We'll come back to 'problems' in a bit (this is where trends in incidents or unknown root causes need investigation).
Review the frequency and reasons for incident escalations to identify opportunities for streamlining processes or improving agent training.
Acting on data-driven insights
The insights gained from monitoring and analysing your help desk metrics should inform your decision-making and drive your team's continual improvement. Use these insights to adjust your goals, allocate resources, and implement targeted interventions to address identified issues.
When making changes based on your data-driven insights, remember to communicate your rationale to your team and involve them in decision-making. This helps promote a culture of transparency and encourages buy-in from your team members.
At the end of the training, we'll look at continual service improvement and more ideas on how to use data to reflect and improve.