Evaluating Managed Services Metrics (3 of 4)

This is a 4-part blog series covering metrics used in Managed Services engagements.  The previous blog discussed Snapshot measurements, highlighting which measurements to use and why.

When mentoring, I tell people: We learn from the past, we impact the present, and we are measured by future results.  In this post, I will discuss Backlog measurements.  These metrics provide an overview of all OPEN tickets as of a certain point in time or date range. For Backlog metrics, I use duration ranges (1 – 3 days, greater than 1 month, etc.) in order to categorize the open tickets.



Open by Priority  View of ALL OPEN tickets, broken down by Priority
Backlog Aging  Breakdown of how long OPEN tickets have been open
Aging of Open by Priority  Snapshot of how long the OPEN tickets have been opened, broken down by Priority

Open by Priority

A simple rule of thumb: As you move up the Priority level, there should be fewer open tickets. An example: Since Critical tickets are the highest of priorities, these are an immediate focus thus should be resolved in a short amount of time. As mentioned in the previous post, in an organization where everything is deemed critical, it is difficult to know where the true priority lies.

Backlog Aging

This is my favorite Backlog metric because it can quickly give you the inside view of an organization. The percentage of open tickets should go down the farther you get from open date. In my experience, the upper limit of time should not exceed 30 days.   In many cases, if a ticket is open beyond 30 days, the original purpose for the ticket no longer exists or the parameters affecting the ticket have changed.

Aging of Open by Priority

This metric is simply a breakdown of the Backlog Aging as it indicates the number of open tickets in each duration range for each priority. The same rule of thumb applies: The higher the priority, the less time a ticket should be open.

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