6 Critical JIRA Metrics

4 min readFeb 22, 2018

There’s no denying that Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are needed to help drive operational improvements. KPIs are imperative for Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) managers to present performance information for all levels of the organisation. Selecting the right KPIs will optimise effectiveness and deliver long-term value to the organisation. You can monitor your KPI’s through real-time metrics dashboards, making it easy to make timely informed decisions.

Here are 6 main JIRA metrics in order to measure important efficiency questions:

1. Relative time spent on high priority issues and tasks

(Are we prioritising the right things?)

In infrastructure and operations, if you decide to fix one issue, it means you’re delaying working on something else. Therefore, it’s crucial to optimise the order in which you fix issues so that your team can deliver the most value.

The occurrence of high priority and low priority issues is often beyond the control of those who respond to them. By comparing the volume of issues/tasks of different types and the average time spent resolving them, you can determine if your focus is on the right things. To increase the time available to focus on high priority issues, simply reduce the time spent on low priority issues by allowing low priority issues to queue up, thereby setting limits on the time spent.

It is important to remember the difference between duration (elapsed time) and effort (time spent). High priority issues should be resolved in the least amount of time (within high priority urgent SLAs), but that shouldn’t necessarily mean reducing the effort. High priority tasks should be allocated an adequate amount of time. Low priority issues and tasks should be resolved in the longest duration, or even remain in a queue if there are high priority issues to attend to.

2. Percentage of key staff time spent on high priority issues

(Are the right people doing the right things?)

Many service desks focus on First Line Fix (the issue is resolved by the first line service desk agent) and First Time Fix (the issue is resolved first time without being reopened or passed back and forth between agents). The reason for this is twofold: (1) those on the first line are normally lower skilled call agents and consequently lower cost, and (2) passing issues between people has wasted effort in the past.

Regardless of how you divide your processes across JIRA projects, issue types and assignees, you want to make sure the highest paid people are doing the most important jobs.

3. Mean Time To Resolve

(Are we doing things efficiently?)

As Peter Drucker famously said, “Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed”.

Mean Time to Resolve is the average time it takes to resolve an issue (or complete a task, or develop a feature). The main question you should ask yourself is ‘Are we getting faster or slower?’ This is a relatively common consideration and a very important indicator of efficiency.

4. Mean Time to Respond

(Are we focussing on the customer?)

Mean time to Respond is how quickly you respond to a customer when there is an issue. Research has proven that a quick response improves customer satisfaction. Even if an issue takes a long time to resolve, a quick response is encouraged.

Measuring this initial response time is essential in creating a better customer focus. Note that the customer is the person raising the issue, whether the issue comes from another internal business unit, colleague or an external customer.

5. % of issues closed within SLA

(Are we getting things done on time?)

The Service Level Agreement objective is defined by the expected time-frame for each phase of the task, including the first response to the client, the creation of a resolution plan and the resolution of the issue. Infrastructure and Operations managers need to meet expectations set through contractual SLAs, internal Operational-Level Agreements (OLAs), or even expectations set by assignees or the business.

6. Issue Burndown

(Do we have the capacity to do what we need to?)

Regardless of the issue type and the volume of issues, executives can compare the number being opened to the number being closed to understand if they have the capacity to burndown the issues.

JIRA often reports on the backlog, but doesn’t indicate as clearly whether there is sufficient resource capacity in the long-term. When looking week-to-week, or even month-to-month, the frequency of issues can be subject to seasonal effects (more bugs found immediately after a release, more support requests raised after a new intake, more platform capacity issues during peak usage, more leave requests during the Christmas period etc.)

It is vitally important to track these KPIs over time to see if things are getting better or worse. Setting the right KPIs can make a world of difference to your organisation. The key to managing them properly is not only investing in the right software for your organisation, but also setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that make it easy for you and your staff to constantly measure, optimise and evaluate I&O performance metrics in your business. www.serviceclarity.com




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