The Crucial Role of Mean Time to Value (MTTV) for Service Desks

Posted on Wednesday 20 September 2023.

Mean time to value

In the fast-paced world of IT service management, the clock is always ticking. Customers expect immediate solutions, while service desk managers and analysts carefully track each second of their work. And every delayed minute affects the profits and customer satisfaction. Delivering value to customers is essential, and doing it promptly is just as crucial!

This is where Mean Time to Value (MTTV) steps into the spotlight. The vital yet often overlooked metric separates high-performance service desks from the rest.

How long should incidents or service requests take to resolve or fulfil? How long do end-users really want to wait for resolutions? And how quickly can a support service return an end-user to a productive state? Understanding MTTV is the key to maximising efficiency, delighting customers, and elevating your ITSM game.

The clock is running – so let’s dig into MTTV and answer why it is key to elevating the customer experience.

What is Mean Time to Value (MTTV)

At its core, MTTV measures the average time it takes to deliver tangible value to your customers or end-users after they’ve initiated a request or reported an issue. Basically, it quantifies the efficiency with which your service desk can transform an end user’s problem into a solution they can see, touch, and experience.

Imagine you’ve just ordered a pizza online – MTTV is the time it takes from clicking that “Order” button to the delightful moment you’re relishing that first cheesy bite. In the ITSM world, it’s the interval between an end-user submitting a support ticket and the gratifying resolution of their technical hiccup.

The best MTTV is zero. This occurs when tickets are prevented by problem management or AI tools such as endpoint bots and machine learning, which proactively eliminate anomalies before generating tickets.

What’s the Difference Between Mean Time to Value and Lifetime Value?

MTTV and Lifetime Value (LTV) are both important metrics used in different contexts in the service desk world. MTTV focuses on the efficiency of delivering value to our customers. It measures the average time it takes for a customer to experience the benefits of our support services after raising an issue.

On the other hand, Lifetime Value (LTV) delves into the long-term relationship you establish with your customers. You evaluate a customer’s value to our service desk across their entire interaction. By understanding LTV, you can tailor your support strategies.

Overall, MTTV emphasises speed and immediate impact, while LTV focuses on building long-lasting customer relationships.


The difference between mean time to resolve (MTTR) and mean time to value (MTTV)

While MTTV focuses on the time it takes for a new IT service or technology to provide measurable value to the organisation, MTTR focuses on the efficiency of resolving incidents and minimising downtime. MTTR is primarily concerned with the efficiency of incident resolution and how quickly IT teams can restore normal operations after an issue arises.

It’s commonly used to assess the performance of IT support and helpdesk teams. A lower MTTR indicates quicker incident resolution and better service quality.

An example below demonstrates the significant variation in incident and service request volume among companies and industries. Depending on the industry average, monthly ticket volumes range from a low of just 0.54 tickets per seat per month in equipment manufacturing to a high of 1.38 tickets per seat per month in High Tech.

monthly ticket volume benchmarking
Source: MetricNet

MTTV's Role in Boosting Service Desk Impact

MTTV places end-user experience at the forefront, ensuring swift resolutions that boost satisfaction and trust. But what factors influence MTTV at a service desk?

Well, MTTV can be affected by various factors, including the complexity of the issue, availability of resources, skill levels and experience of the support team, and the efficiency and effectiveness of the service desk’s processes.

Best Practices and Examples to Help You Embrace MTTV

MTTV is a dynamic metric that should align with your service desk’s goals and end-user expectations. This means that regular evaluation and improvements of MTTV are necessary! Moreover, it will lead to a more efficient and customer-centric service desk.

Let’s now look at some best practices for optimising MTTV.

#1 Efficient Triage

Consider implementing an automated incident or service request triage system that categorises and prioritises incoming requests based on urgency and complexity. This allows your service desk team to address high-priority issues, reducing MTTV for critical incidents swiftly.

#2 Knowledge Base Empowerment

Empower your service desk agents and end-users with a robust knowledge base.

When end-users can access self-service resources or agents can quickly reference solutions —MTTV shrinks significantly. Having resources like a service desk-facing and end-user-facing knowledge base, workarounds, logging instructions, and FAQs can greatly assist both the service desk and end users in finding solutions to either provide support for end users or offer a self-serving option for end users without the need for service desk assistance.

#3 Automation and AI Integration

Automation and AI are the dynamic duos that can turbocharge your MTTV.

You can leverage automation and AI at the service desk to streamline tasks that are repetitive and time-consuming. AI-powered chatbots, for instance, can provide instant responses to common end-user queries, and by providing that immediate assistance, shorten your MTTV.

In more complex scenarios, AI-powered analytics can identify patterns, aiding agents in diagnosing and rectifying issues faster. AI and automation can also enhance the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) by predicting failures, expediting issue resolution, and optimising workflows.

How to measure MTTV

Now that we clearly understand MTTV and its best practices, let’s shift our focus to practical tips for effectively measuring MTTV.  To accurately measure MTTV, you need to set a structured approach that aligns with your organisational objectives.

Here are some helpful tips to consider.

Before you can measure the mean time to value, you need to define what “value” means in your context. For a service desk, the value could be a successfully resolved incident, a software installation, or any other task that the service desk handles.

🕒Time stamps rule

Start by noting the exact time an end-user logs an issue. These time stamps show that the service desk is dedicated to providing value quickly. And they also create a historical record for post-analysis and continuous improvement.


❓Issue resolved time 

When the incident or request is cracked, and the solution is served, note down the time again. For each individual incident or request, Time to Value = Resolution Time − Report Time

To get the mean time to value for a set period (like a month or a quarter), sum the time to value for all incidents or requests in that period and divide by the number of tickets.

MTTV = ∑ (Resolution Time−Report Time) divided by the Total Number of Tickets

As MTTV directly correlates with customer satisfaction, this metric’s precision offers actionable insights for service desk teams to fine-tune their processes, streamline workflows, and elevate the overall service experience.


🛠 New technology

Your trusty IT Service Management system or IT support software can be your MTTV partner in crime. But their role goes beyond mere record-keeping. With the use of new technologies such as large language models (LLMs) and conversational AI, or generative AI like GPT-, you can eliminate and automate some of your service desk’s workload. These solutions can enable your team to work smarter and be more productive.


📈 Spikes in MTTV

Keep a watchful eye on any sudden spikes in MTTV. Identifying the factors that cause sudden spikes can help uncover possible obstacles, inefficiencies, or communication failures.


📊 Mix and average

Not all issues are created equal. Calculate MTTV for different types of problems, then find the average. This helps you see the big picture of your overall service desk’s performance.


📢 Customer feedback

A shorter MTTV leads to happier end-users who feel their concerns are addressed promptly. It’s also important to listen to their feedback and make changes accordingly. By doing this, you can create a positive experience for your end-users.


🎯 Tune your MTTV goals

Tailor your MTTV targets based on the issue’s complexity and your team’s strengths. As you refine your process, aim to reduce your MTTV numbers.


Mean Time to Value (MTTV) is the compass that guides your service desk toward operational excellence and end-user satisfaction. By mastering MTTV, you’re not just reducing the time it takes to resolve issues – you’re supercharging your organisation’s ability to adapt, evolve, and excel in a rapidly changing digital landscape.

After all, in the race to harness technology’s potential, the shortest distance between an end-user’s need and its fulfilment sets winners apart from the rest.

Benchmark your service with SDI and MetricNet!

SDI and MetricNet have partnered to provide a powerful benchmarking solution tailored for service desk organisations.

With our collaboration, you can:

  • Understand how your service desk compares to others in the industry.

  • Identify the areas where you can make the most impactful improvements for your organisation.

To know more, simply give us a call at 01689 889100 or email


MTTV is crucial because it reflects the efficiency and effectiveness of the service desk in delivering timely solutions. It directly impacts end-user satisfaction, trust, and overall experience.

Optimising MTTV involves streamlining processes, ensuring adequate training for support staff, implementing self-service options for end-users, and leveraging automation tools to expedite issue resolution. In other words, to give your customers the best experience, focus on excellent customer service, friendly support, and helpful tutorials and guides.

The best MTTV is zero. A lower MTTV generally suggests quicker value delivery, but balancing speed with quality is important. Rushing solutions may lead to incomplete resolutions or end-user dissatisfaction. It would be best if you always strived for a balanced approach.

Antonija Bozickovic

Antonija Bozickovic

Content Creator at SDI



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