A lot of the time a lot of numbers get in the way of what we actually want to get to: the key takeaways. Simplify your reports by focusing on the key stuff that really matters. It will pay back in a clearer overview of your Service Department.
1. Put the time into it
We often see running a report as something we can do quickly at 5.15pm, before we go home for the day, but it then strands you in the office till 6.30pm. To avoid this, invest the time up front to make sure you know what you want to find out - and develop thought out reports that you can automate at a sending frequency you wish. Or that you can generate with one click from a template.
You want to get yourself to a point where quickly running a report on Friday afternoon is indeed totally possible. But make no mistake, you need to put the time in initially to dig through spreadsheets and toolset reports to find out what is valuabel to you. That can be tedious for sure, but it will give you the strong foundation you need.
Alternatively, if you know what you don't care about in reports, you can take the opposite approach and weed those parts out first.
If you automate any reports at the moment, take a good look at if it's actually something you use. If not, just get rid of it. It gets rid of a lot of white noise for yourself, and frees you up to see what you want to see.
Are any other people involved on the recipients list? Don't be afraid just stop sending them the report and see if they notice. If they come and ask you about it a week or so later, then it meant something to them and you should start doing it again. However, if nobody asks… then it probably means nobody cares either. Simplify.
Instead, make sure you develop reports that you and your colleagues would like to receive. Think "opt-in" rather than "opt-out". What would people really want to see? Make it a Service Department newsletter, full of juicy numbers and bar charts! As long as those bar charts are something you actually get information out of.
3. Make sure the numbers are actionable
The important thing to remember is there is a purpose to your ITSM reporting. The purpose is to provide you and your team with something that serves you and your commitment to improving your services. Metrics are an exercise in optimising self-discovery.
Focus heavily on what it is you want to learn about the inner-workings of your services and the skill level changes your staff want to see in themselves. Look for the numbers that tell you about that and then use those numbers to inform how you grow.
Remember that using metrics and reporting to improve your work can be a long process, with wide variation between quick wins and almost unnoticeable progress. It takes a strong vision and uncompromising strategy to get great results.