There are 30+ incident management KPIs. But not all are important. Here are the top 9 KPIs you should be keeping an eye on!

Did you know, according to a recent FRSecure report, only 45% of businesses are leveraging the use of incident response plans and incident management KPIs optimally?


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In today’s high-stakes, cloud-centric landscape, a comprehensive understanding of these KPIs for incident management holds the key to driving efficiency and maintaining infrastructure stability.

If you’re among the technology leaders, enterprise decision-makers, DevOps engineers, software engineers, or investors striving to fortify your incident response and management, then this blog post is for you. We will explore the top 9 incident management KPIs to keep an eye on. 

Table of Contents

What is a KPI in incident management?

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in incident management is a quantifiable measure that IT teams use to track, analyze, and measure the effectiveness of their incident response processes.

These KPIs are of great importance because they provide tangible data, offering insights into how efficiently an organization is handling its IT concerns. They serve as a critical feedback mechanism for continuous operational improvement, shining a spotlight on areas that need attention.

When we talk about incident management KPIs, we’re referring to measurements that can provide a comprehensive view of your system’s health and your team’s efficiency in addressing and resolving issues.

This enables teams to identify trends, make informed decisions, reduce system downtime, and improve overall service quality.

Top 9 Incident Management KPIs

If you’re in the business of running a top-notch IT department, you know that mastering incident management KPIs is just as much art as it is science. From quicker resolution times to enhanced decision-making, these ten important KPIs for incident management are pivotal for optimized operations. 

Incidents Over Time 

When it comes to monitoring the effectiveness of your incident management process, one significant incident management KPI to keep on your radar is ‘Incidents Over Time.’ 

This KPI helps track the number of incidents recorded in a specific timeframe. To decode this further, it provides vital insights into the periodic trends and patterns, enabling you to proactively pinpoint and remediate potential problem areas. 

For example: If a certain software component consistently triggers an uptick in incidents during peak use hours, your team can strategically use these insights to streamline processes, allocate resources, or even alert system users in advance. 

To highlight further: 

  • It monitors the volume of incidents over a defined timeframe, which helps quickly identify surges or drops.
  • Shows cyclical trends and helps in forecasting future incident volumes and their patterns.
  • Assists in allocating resources optimally based on incident volumes and expected trends.

The journey toward improved system health is never a one-size-fits-all journey – but with the right KPIs for incident management, you’re certainly on the right path!

Mean Time to Acknowledge (MTTA)

When it comes to the incident management world, the Mean Time to Acknowledge (MTTA) scores some real points. It’s a critical key performance indicator (KPI) that signifies the average time it takes for your team to acknowledge an incident once it’s reported.

The sooner you acknowledge a problem, the quicker you can work on resolving it. Thus, keeping a low MTTA is necessary for any organization that offers top-tier service. 

A well-monitored MTTA metric implies your team is prompt at recognizing incidents, leading to hastier troubleshooting.

  • Why is it important?
    The MTTA measures an organization’s responsiveness, which is vital to effectively handle any incident.
  • What does it show?
    A shorter MTTA indicates a team’s swift acknowledgment of incidents, leading to quicker resolution times.
  • Example: If your team’s weekly average MTTA is 30 minutes, it means that, on average, it takes your team half an hour to acknowledge an incident after it’s been reported.

Mean Time to Detect (MTTD)

Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) is one of the critical incident management KPIs technology leaders should focus on.

MTTD is the average time it takes to discover an incident occurring within an IT infrastructure. This metric is crucial as it reflects the efficiency of your monitoring system and can play a significant role in minimizing business disruption. Keep in mind that a lower MTTD typically reflects a more effective incident management process. 

  • Importance: MTTD helps to evaluate the performance of your IT detection systems and crisis response. The lower the MTTD, the faster your response.
  • Example: If in a month your system detected incidents at 2 hours, 1.5 hours, and 1 hour, respectively, your MTTD would be the average of these times.

Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR)

The Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR) is a critical incident management KPI you cannot afford to ignore. It provides an average timespan within which your DevOps squad remedies an issue that interrupts standard workflows. It quantifies a system’s downtime and is an essential gauge of the efficiency of your response team. 

In a nutshell, a lower MTTR is always better. Why? 

Let’s consider this: imagine you run an enterprise-grade, mission-critical cloud service. An outage can wreak havoc, not only affecting your company’s productivity but even dribbling down to your customers. 

  • For instance, if your average MTTR stands at two hours, it suggests that users can expect a resolution within about two hours when an incident strikes.
  • However, if your team can put a leash on this incident management metric and lower the MTTR to, say, one hour, your service reliability tends to feel far less of an impact when an incident does occur.

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First Touch Resolution Rate (FTRR)

First Touch Resolution Rate (FTRR) is indeed a crucial KPI in incident management. It measures the percentage of incidents resolved on the first contact without escalating to upper support levels.

By monitoring this metric, you gain insights into your team’s efficiency and the effectiveness of your troubleshooting guides. Understanding the underpinnings of your FTRR can help you better optimize your processes and enhance your incident management strategy. 

  • FTRR directly speaks to the capabilities of your ground-level support team.
  • High FTRR signifies a well-equipped, knowledgeable team that can solve issues swiftly and in one go.
  • It also indicates clear and effective troubleshooting guides that aid the first-contact resolution.

For example, if your support team resolves 70 out of 100 incidents on the first touch, your FTRR would stand at an impressive 70%.

On-call time

On-call time is one of the critical incident management KPIs that’s worth keeping an eye on. Essentially, this measures the period an IT professional or a team is actively on duty to address any potential issues. The point here is about availability and the ability to respond effectively and quickly. 

  • It reflects on resource allocation: A high on-call time may indicate an overburdened team.
  • It impacts responsiveness: Quick on-call responses can prevent major incidents or reduce their impact.
  • It helps in decision-making: Mapping on-call times against incidents can guide shift scheduling for better coverage.

For instance, a company might track its DevOps team’s on-call time to see if there’s a correlation between high on-call times and the incidence of system problems. Such insights could lead to better staffing decisions and enhanced incident management protocols.

Escalation rate

Keeping a balanced eye on your escalation rate can truly be a game-changer in your incident management strategy. Essentially, the escalation rate refers to the frequency at which incidents require assistance from higher-level support teams or experts to achieve resolution.

It serves as a revealing mirror, reflecting the complexity of the issues being encountered, and indirectly showcases your front-line support teams’ efficacy and technical prowess. 

  • Indicates if incidents often surpass front-line support capabilities
  • This may point to a possible need for better training or tools for lower-tier teams
  • High escalation rates can mean increased resolution times and costs

For instance, if your escalation rate is steadily rising, it may be the ideal time to re-evaluate your current incident management practices and training methodologies thoroughly.

Cost per ticket

In the business world, we must keep tabs on every penny spent to enhance our incident management. Enter the Cost per ticket, a critical component of incident management KPIs.

This metric measures the overall cost involved in resolving an individual incident or ticket. It’s calculated by dividing the total costs attached to resolving incidents by the number of tickets resolved in the given timeframe. 

Let’s break it down: 

  • What it means: Cost per ticket indicates the efficiency of your support team and the value of the resources invested in incident management.
  • What it shows: Tracking this KPI can shed light on your operational efficiency and incident response budgeting. For instance, a high cost per ticket could hint at needing more staff training or, potentially, automation opportunities.

For example, If your organization spent $10,000 in a month to resolve 1000 incidents, your cost per ticket would be $10. Keeping an eye on this figure! Over time, it helps in optimizing resources and budgets for your incident management process.


A crucial element in your stable of incident management KPIs is uptime. By definition, uptime refers to the total time a system or application is fully operational, available, and unbroken.

It directly impacts companies’ bottom line since more uptime means increased productivity, hence enhanced profitability. 

  • It paints an extremely accurate picture of a company’s reliability.
  • Why is it important? For technology leaders, maintaining high uptime percentages is critical to keeping the digital aspect of their businesses running seamlessly.
  • Let’s consider an example: If a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform brags of 99.999% uptime, it means the service promises to be down less than 5.26 minutes per year, excluding scheduled maintenance. 

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Importance of incident management metrics

Incident management KPIs or Key Performance Indicators allow you to proactively monitor your systems, measure your team’s effectiveness, and continuously improve your processes. 

Here are the key reasons why focusing on the right incident management metrics is vital: 

  • Improved system availability: By using KPIs for incident management, teams can determine system vulnerabilities, enabling proactive fixes that reduce downtime. It promotes system availability, which is paramount for delivering user satisfaction and business continuity.
  • Enhanced operational efficiency: Measuring Incident management KPIs like MTTD (Mean Time to Detect), and MTTR (Mean Time to Resolution), allows for informed decision-making. This not only enhances operational efficiency but also boosts the productivity of your IT team.
  • Cost optimization: Incident management metrics aid in identifying resource wastage and the cost per ticket. Measures can then be taken to streamline processes and reduce the total cost of operations in the long run.
  • Improved quality of service: Harnessing these metrics effectively contributes to improved resolution times and service quality, elevating the overall customer experience.
  • Strategic decision-making: With real-time data and insights provided by incident management metrics, leadership can make strategic decisions that align with business goals, creating a roadmap for digital transformation.

In a nutshell, incident management KPIs are integral to not just maintaining high-performing IT services but continuously improving upon them. 

Final thoughts

Reflection upon these top 9 incident management KPIs underscores their crucial role in fine-tuning support efforts, mitigating disruption, and enhancing overall service quality.

Keep an eye on all these and several other KPIs using Middleware.

Properly implementing and tracking these incident management metrics act as a beacon, guiding you towards an improved incident response landscape. It’s your lens to granular visibility and informed decision-making.

Ultimately, we achieve agility in innovation without looming threats of potential downtime, all thanks to these KPIs for incident management. Remember, consistency in observation and data-driven improvement are keys to effective incident management. And with this, you’re all set to excel in that arena!