Defining Goals and Success Metrics

Let’s talk about goals! We’ve recently launched the PagerDuty Onboarding Checklist to help guide our customers through the implementation process. The first phase, the planning phase, is all about defining goals and setting clear intentions for the onboarding experience.

The first question is what are we trying to accomplish? How are we going to measure the success of this implementation? What does success mean to us? Having completed countless PagerDuty onboardings, we’ve found that clients with clearly defined goals have an overall better implementation and more satisfied on-call responders. To help with this, we have identified the five steps of the incident response lifecycle which are:

Optimize: Is it actionable?
Notify: Is the right person notified at the right time?
Assess: How severe is it? What is the impact?
Resolve: How do we fix it?
Prevent: How can we uncover trends and patterns?

Of these, which step resonates the most for you? What are your biggest operational challenges? Where would you like to see the most improvement? Thinking through these questions will help you define your implementation goals.

Common goals include:

  • Reducing alert noise and the number of nonactionable notifications
  • Making sure the right person is always notified
  • Automation of on-call schedules and escalation policies
  • Staying compliant with internal SLAs
  • Better assessing the impact of an incident
  • Standardizing process for team collaboration
  • Improve efficiency of users and teams
  • Prevent recurring issues from future business impact

Once you have identified your goals, let’s define success criteria. What good are goals without a measurable way to track your progress, right? How will we measure the success of these goals? Think outside the box! Success metrics can be quantitative or qualitative.

Success criteria examples:

  • Reduce mean-time-to-acknowledge (MTTA) by x minutes
  • Reduce mean-time-to-resolve (MTTR) by x minutes
  • Reduce the number of triggered incidents on x service by x amount
  • Track on-call responder incidents for better distribution of workload
  • Measure employee satisfaction with on-call responder survey
  • Measure ease of setup and configuration with administrator survey

Make sure these are realistic, actionable and associated with key deliverable dates.

What are some of your goals and success metrics? Share below in comments!