Productivity and Utilisation in ITSM

Towards analysis and accord of the often misunderstood metrics of productivity and utilisation in multi-service ITSM.

Definition of terms

Productivity : number of tickets closed in a time period. (integer)

Utilisation: amount of time an agent is busy in a time period. (percentage)


In multi-service ITSM tickets are being closed at a variable productivity rate depending on the service, the external factors that determine the service requirement and the internal factors that affect the service delivery. However the rate can be expected to be consistent over the agents who are delivering that service in any time period.

Utilisation in multi-service ITSM should be expected to remain consistent over the agents delivering the services and will contribute to capacity management and the cost of delivering the services.


Productivity and utilisation must be measured and reported in ITSM in such a way that provides satisfaction of a “job well done” for the agents who deliver the service as well as management information regarding the quality of service. In addition the reporting should inspire all to improve service delivery by maximising productivity without  impacting utilisation or requiring change in capacity management. In this way serving the business function of greater profitability.

Measurement and Reporting

With capacity management being the consumer of reporting for productivity and utilisation there is no other way of defining the numbers apart from them being a function of the individual agents. Except in the cases where there is a logical group of agents (team) that can usefully define the delivery of a single service or group of services.

However it is often useful to begin the measurement and reporting at an individual level.

Productivity should be reported weekly with individual daily targets set according to the team mean productivity from a previous time period. This sets a benchmark to identify under-performing and over-performing agents in any time period. Management of under-performance and over-performance derives consistency in the service delivery as well as service improvement. Ultimately increased productivity.

It should be important that utilisation is measured and reported daily for assessment of adequate capacity management. However utilisation should not be a target for agents individually. It should always be expected as a consistent function of productivity. Deviation from a consistent utilisation indicates defects in service delivery either at an individual level or operational level.

Management of Productivity and Utilisation

When agents understand the importance of these metrics for maintenance of a competitive business model; teams can work well together to improve productivity with positive impact on job satisfaction.

Executive reporting should be delivered that does not announce individual performances but rather on a monthly basis shows at least consistency but preferably improvement in productivity by the logical groupings of agents into teams. In addition the mean productivity for the entire ITSM can be reported to demonstrate the cost per ticket of delivering services.

Executive reporting of utilisation is also a roundup of the individual efforts and represents whether staffing has been at the correct level to manage customer expectations of service delivery.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: