A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a way of measuring whether your organisation is meeting its goals. It is a quantifiable figure that tells you about your progress over time.
A KPI is more specific than general performance metrics. It assesses the most important targets of your business, and shows your team where their priorities should be. Your company likely already collects data, so selecting KPIs is about choosing the metrics that support your strategic goals.
When it comes to incident management, there are a number of different KPIs you can track. They can tell you how well your team is reacting to issues, and the things you can do to improve.
Why are KPIs important?
In short, KPIs use the data you already have to improve your business. It is virtually impossible to avoid incidents altogether. KPIs help you learn from the ones you’ve already dealt with. To stand out in a competitive marketplace, you want to take advantage of every chance to move forward.
KPIs make your team accountable against clear goals. They are more than targets: they show how close you are to meeting your targets. For example, if you have a target response time of 30 minutes, a KPI could assess whether your performance is improving or getting worse. They are a constant reminder that success is relative.
KPIs encourage your team to do their best work, as they know what to focus on. Do you want to focus on the quantity or quality of responses, or a balance of both? Your team should know this, as well as what specific improvements they need to make.
KPIs are also useful for assessing trends in your organisation. You can adapt as quickly as possible to changes in the market. The past year has shown the importance of flexibility in the workplace. While KPIs aren’t perfect (more on this later), they can improve the adaptability of your business.
What makes a good KPI?
The best KPIs are ones that inspire your team to achieve their goals. As a result, they should be actionable and precise. When deciding your KPIs, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are your KPIs specific and quantifiable?
- Are your KPIs metrics that can be influenced through action?
- Do you have the appropriate time and resources to dedicate to these KPIs?
Sometimes, companies will measure KPIs because they feel they have to. They will pick KPIs that are easy to measure, rather than ones that are genuinely useful to their business. Don’t just follow what everyone else is doing! Make sure you tailor your KPIs to your organisation. After all, you want to be better than your competitors, not exactly the same.
What are the limits of KPIs?
There are some things you do have to be careful of when using KPIs. The clue is in the name: they are indicators, and can only indicate performance. As with all metrics, there is a delay in using the data. Once you have captured the data, it will take time to put it into a helpful form. To benefit from KPIs, they must be constantly monitored.
KPIs rely heavily on averages, which comes with some pitfalls. It gives a useful overview, but you should also make sure to look into the specifics. Let’s use customer reviews as an example: the average of 5 stars and 1 star is 3 stars, but this says nothing about why someone gave your response 1 star! Volatile data can make your KPIs less representative.
However, these things are no reason to avoid KPIs. You should just be careful about using them as the only measure of success.
What are some useful KPIs for incident management?
As mentioned, there’s a variety of KPIs you can assess. We’ve put together a few examples for incident management that might inspire you when thinking of your own:
- The number of reported incidents
- Number of incidents that are closed
- Number of incidents that are not closed
- Number of repeat incidents
- Time spent on calls
- Average response time
- Average solution time
- Average time between failures
- System uptime
- First time fixes
- Escalation rate
- SLA (Service Legal Agreement)
- Customer experience
Don’t worry about tracking all these KPIs at once! Start with a few useful statistics and then build on them as your organisation develops.
How to effectively utilise KPIs?
The most important thing about KPIs is that they are acted upon. It is no use having a KPI that only one person in the organisation knows about. The more people that feel confident with the KPIs you have, the better! For this reason, communication is of the highest importance.
A Board Portal like Convene can help you share your findings quickly and efficiently. At every stage of the meeting process, our software is designed to enhance communication. With functions to deal with top-level data, you can make sure no one in the organisation is left behind. Our secure document library simplifies the distribution process, so you no longer have to print out pages and pages of information.