This is a 4-part blog series covering metrics used in Managed Services engagements. The previous blog discussed Backlog measurements, providing an overview of all Open tickets as of a certain point in time or date. In this post, I will discuss the Trending measurements. This metric provides an overview of all tickets reported, segmented by the month the ticket was created.
I had just completed a short discovery session with a potential client and we were reviewing my preliminary findings. I immediately asked if the organization had problems with quality. He looked startled and said yes, but wanted to know what led me to that opinion so quickly. I showed him the Trending metrics and pointed out several large spikes in the number of tickets that happened to correspond with planned Production release dates.
|Trending – Open/Closed||Provides the number of tickets opened and closed each month|
|Trending by Priority||Provides the number of tickets opened each month broken down by Priority|
Experience has shown that many organizations take the quick and easy “Band-Aid” approach to resolving tickets. This approach corrects the symptom (example: delete bad data) of the problem but it is often a temporary solution as the problem resurfaces each month. A “Root Cause Analysis” approach centers on identifying and resolving the actual problem (example: fix problem that allows bad data into the system) so it does not occur again. The ultimate result of a “Root Cause Analysis” approach is an organization that over time reduces its support initiatives, thus freeing resources for other critical tasks.
Trending – Open/Closed
If the number of open tickets exceeds the number of closed tickets over time this is often a sign the team is understaffed. The assumptions made to determine staff size should be re-evaluated, and corrective actions are needed to reverse the trend.
Trending by Priority
Look for spikes with an emphasis on the higher priorities as these events should be minimal. These will require an investigation and often lead to a “Lessons Learned” opportunity.