The Metrics Hierarchy in IT Service & Support 

Posted on Monday 17 February 2020.

by Jeff Rumburg, MetricNet


The Metrics Hierarchy – Your Guide To Getting Started


Today’s service and support technologies make it easy to capture copious amounts of performance data.  Most IT service desk managers can tell you everything from last month’s ticket volume to yesterday’s average handle time.  But despite all the data that service desk managers have at their fingertips, most cannot answer a very basic question: How is my support organisation performing?

Perhaps worse, many managers are unaware of the critical role – beyond mere measurement – that Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can and should play in service and support.  This includes the ability to track and trend performance, identify, diagnose, and correct performance gaps, establish performance goals, and continuously improve performance. 

The Power of Leveraging Metrics

Many have heard the sage advice “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” This is particularly true in service desks, where effective performance measurement is not just a necessity, but a prerequisite for effective decision-making.  Despite the widespread belief in this statement, few support organisations leverage KPIs for their full potential.  In fact MetricNet’s research, gathered from literally thousands of service and support benchmarks, suggests that the vast majority of support organisations use metrics to track and trend their performance – but nothing more!  Unfortunately, in this mode, service desks miss the real value of performance measurement by failing to exploit the diagnostic and prescriptive capabilities of KPIs. 

The true potential of service and support KPIs can only be unlocked when they are used holistically, not just to measure and observe performance, but also to: 

  • Track and trend performance over time 
  • Establish performance goals 
  • Benchmark performance vs. industry peers 
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in support 
  • Diagnose the underlying drivers of performance gaps 
  • Prescribe actions to continuously improve performance 
  • Demonstrate the ROI of service and support 
  • Achieve world-class performance 

In short, performance measurement and management is a critical discipline that must be mastered for any support organisation that aspires to world-class performance. 


Where To Start?

Recognising that all businesses and therefore the service desks that support them are different, MetricNet has created a guide to help you to answer important questions like; how to understand the cause and effect relationships between KPIs, how to use metrics to mitigate performance gaps in your service desk and which metrics to report.

This free to download guide will give you key considerations you should be thinking about when using metrics, linking them to your service desk KPIs, and then using this information to drive performance improvements.

[Please note: file may go straight in to your ‘Downloads’ folder]


Or if you’d prefer more hands-on help with your metrics you can join me at SDI20 where I’ll be running my award-winning metrics workshop on 15th March 2021. The session is available at no additional cost to SDI20 delegates, but is limited to 30 spaces, so  book quickly!

You can learn more about the specifics of the workshop here or you can book your SDI20 ticket here!

Register Your Interest in SDI21 Live & Interactive





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