Four Critical Reports for IT Service Management

Four More Critical Reports for IT Service Management
Evan Golden

By Evan Golden

July 6, 2020

In a previous article titled Four Critical IT Service Management Reports, we discussed four reports that Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) teams should leverage to help manage performance. They were:

  • Service Desk Health Gauge
  • Mean Time to Respond/Resolve
  • Time in Status
  • Open vs Resolved

In this post, we will review four additional reports that are critical when measuring the key metrics of your service management team. They are:

  • Capacity Flow
  • Problem Timeline
  • Stacked Area Chart that identifies bottlenecks
  • Bar chart that shows number of tickets opened by source


Report 1: Capacity Flow

In the previous post, we showed how using an Open vs Resolved pie chart can show you if your team is able to resolve as many tickets as are opened over a period of time.

A capacity flow report takes this one step further by showing you the average number of tickets your team can handle per day. We call this number the team's "Capacity".

The capacity flow report is a line chart that shows the number of tickets opened and resolved each day in relationship to a capacity line. This allows the team to see if the number of tickets spike above the capacity line or dip below it.

To generate the report, you set the team's capacity in the parameters and it will be be represented by a black line. The red line is the number of tickets opened each day and the blue line shows the number of tickets resolved each day.

Capacity Flow Report

There is also an expanded view that shows the day to day number of tickets with hyperlinks to those tickets.

Expanded View of Capacity Flow Report

Report 2: Problem Timeline

After a problem has been resolved, it is good to have a retrospective that looks at the root cause, the number of incidents reported, the length of time to resolve the problem, and any after-actions needed to decrease the chance of creating the same problem again.

The problem timeline does just this. This report answers many questions like:

  1. What was the first incident reported?
  2. When was the first incident reported?
  3. How many incidents were reported, and who reported them?
  4. When was the problem identified and created?
  5. What was the root cause, and when was it identified?
  6. When was the change request submitted?
  7. What was the change, and how long did it take to get approved?
  8. What was the development item in the development teams backlog that was created?
  9. How long did it take to release the item, and did it fix the problem?
  10. How long did it take in total from the first incident reported to problem resolution.

This is over 10 different data points, not including the values displayed in each shape providing additional information—all in a single report.

Problem Timeline

The expanded view from the first incident reported will show all of the incidents linked to the single problem.

Expanded View Problem Timeline

Report 3: Stacked Area Chart

Knowing how many tickets you have in each status, day to day, is an important metric that can help you understand the flow of work for your service team. You can use a stacked area chart to visualize this.

A stacked area chart can show the number of tickets over a given period of time based on status. This allows you to quickly see which statuses are creating a potential bottleneck.

Stacked Area Chart

There is also an expanded view that shows the number of tickets per status per day with hyperlinks to the issues.

Stacked Area Expanded View

Report 4: Bar Chart by Source

The service desk portal is important, because the more your customers can submit requests without disturbing the service team, the more the team can work on tickets. This helps teams meet their service level agreements and also maintain a healthy backlog.

In Jira Service Desk there is a "Source" field that helps identify how tickets were opened. The source can be the self-service portal, phone, chat, or even in-person. Understanding how customers open tickets provides a measure of the portal's ease of use and how encouraged customers are to use it.

In the bar chart below, the bars represent the number of issues by source type. Bar Chart

Like the other reports, there is an expanded view that shows the number of tickets, by source, and includes hyperlinks to the issues.

Bar Chart Expanded View

Summary

An IT service management team has many ways of measuring their performance and success. These four reports are just a few examples that can help teams answer questions and look at data with easy-to-understand visuals. Taken as a group, these reports not only provide metrics, but also the context needed for stakeholders to make well-informed decisions.