How Many Endpoints Per Tech Make You Best In Class?
And What Class Are We In?
By Manuel Palachuk
A subject I’ve intended to cover for some time is the eternal question of “How many endpoints should my team be able to handle?” This and “How many tickets per tech should we go through in a day or a week?” To me, these are both process control questions that go to the heart of a system’s capability. I know that’s a mouthful in itself, but that’s the truth about it. And it is actually not as easy to lump all service delivery teams or departments into the same pot. A small operation with two techs is not likely going to out-perform a twenty person operation on tickets per tech or endpoints per tech unless their tools, process, and people are significantly above the average of the twenty-person team. And are we measuring the same metrics accurately? Do you lump small projects in with the daily service delivery issues? Do you count your service manager or service coordinator in with your team?
So how do we figure out how many tickets our techs should be closing a day or week and how many endpoints we should be able to manage with a 5 of 5 customer satisfaction rating? The answer is no one really knows but we can figure it out. And I mean no one. To date, I cannot find anywhere a fully divulged data source for IT service providers in sizes from 1 to 100 (or even more) person operations. I’ve seen many statements from those somehow “in the know” drawing from the data they have in hand from their clients and/or other reliable sources. I believe these are of almost no use to the majority of IT service providers out there as the data is always cherry-picked to present a light on “what the best of breed can do”. The people I talk to want to know what others like themselves are doing. They want to know what they should expect for capability from their team based on what other service departments that somewhat look like themselves are pulling off.
So how do we figure this out? We get a simple campaign going to collect and share the data. It starts with a simple form with a handful of easy questions, and we get as many IT providers as possible to contribute. We update it monthly and publish the information, that’s it. What do we call it? I don’t know, but to get it rolling, I’m going to call it the IT Service Management Benchmark.
Okay Manny, so what will it tell me? Well, I think it starts with the basics of number of full time people on the service team directly responsible for working and closing tickets. It would show number of endpoints managed. It would show the ticket count closed per month. From these, we can figure out the tickets per endpoint or per tech and the endpoints per tech. But I want to gather a few more bits of information to make it even more robust and useful for ALL IT companies looking at it.
But wait, there’s more! I want to also ask what the total revenue accountable to this Service Delivery machine is. This would give people an idea of what size of operation is reporting what for numbers. This then would make the data useful to any size operation as they can find themselves in the mix, not guess whether these companies are even representative of theirs. To top it off, I want to know the Tech Work Product Per Month (total time spent working tickets) so we can calculate the Average Time on Ticket. Now that’s useful data!
To get things rolling, I’m going to take two steps. One: Start collecting data. Two: Start publicizing the results in a table. It seems only fair that only those who submit their data should have access to the results. I have no intention of selling or otherwise monetizing the results. I want this thing to be of tangible use to the community that supports it. This means that as time moves on, I will have to clarify the input requirements and the reasonable expectations of the use of the output data. Additionally, I will need to cultivate input filtration methods to keep people from trying to skew the data or simply submit crappy data only for the sake of gaining access to the results. Suffice it to say, if you submit data and I can’t find your website, get a reply by email, or get a call back on the phone, you’re likely never going to be included in the data and you’re not going to have access to the results.
As a side note, I believe the team member count must include the Service Manager and Service Coordinator. In larger teams, these are important roles that are directly responsible for the “machine” working at top efficiency.
I’m embedding the form here (see below) so that anyone who’d like to participate can just dump in their numbers. Ideally, I will be posting the first table by the first week of February. Then it should be updated every month if there is any new data. The initial data will look anemic and useless to anything but the most discerning eye, but I promise you that even if only five people participate, it will have use. It will show you that you are not alone and that there is a benchmark to get some idea of how you’re performing, or should be performing.
For this to be most successful, please, please email me with ideas, concerns, etc. to help make this benchmark even more useful and accurate.
Without further ado, here is that IT Service Management Benchmark Data Submission Form below. Oh, and please spread the word!