How Reducing Time to Completion Makes More Money for the Company

  • by
IT Service Managers | IT Service Delivery | IT Project Manager

This is part three of the first article in the three-article series on Aligning Service Manager’s focus with the Company’s #1 goal: making more money (profit). To read the introduction and part B of this article, go to Stephen Buyze / Blogs. Each article will look at either Time to Completion, Number of Open Tickets, or Resource Utilization; what they represent, how to benchmark, track, and improve; and finally, how they make more money for the company.

Please Note: My expertise is as a Resource Planning Analyst, so I write from the perspective of mining and transforming data into golden information for Service Managers. In this series, the “Gold” is making more money for the Company (profit).

Part 1C: Time to Completion (continued)

Improve Time to Completion with Journey Mapping

In this blog we will discuss Journey Mapping, the fourth technique on how to improve the Time to Completion metric. (Intake procedures, 0-delay escalations, and Shift-Left were previously discussed in part B of this article.)

About Journey Mapping:

Journey Mapping looks for ways to eradicate delays and shorten the service request life cycle. Yes, the Customer experience will improve when pain is relieved sooner; but think of all the times the service request is handled, followed up, revisited, and generally considered.

These requests are not only handled by billable resources, but also by Service Managers, Account Managers, and support personnel such as Inside Sales or Customer Service, not to mention the Customer’s time. While the financial benefits are most likely substantial, the point of this article is time savings on billable resources. Saving billable time is achieved by removing all the non-direct remediation activities.

So, how do you compare?

In Jeff Rumburg’s article, Incident Mean Time to Resolve, (this is the same as Time to Completion, just different jargon) posted May 8th on HDI’s SupportWorld website he gave the Mean Time to Resolve average as 8.4 hours with the range being from .67 hours to 33.67. For a FREE Time to Completion Autotask Live Report mockup, please email me

Time to Completion & Its Impact on Making More Money for the Company

So where is the positive impact on the bottom line that I promised?

Time to Completion Impacts For the Customer:

Time to Completion initiatives are all about shortening the life cycle of a service request between cradle and grave. Any gains in this area improve the external Customer’s experience.

The bottom-line impact for the Customer includes a return to productivity once the IT pain is relieved and less distraction in following up on the status of the service request. At the individual service request level, the savings may be minuscule — $18 to $50. Given the quality of service requests, however, it can be significant — 100 service requests, $1,800 to $5,000.

Time to Completion Impacts For the Employer:

For internal bottom-line impacts, there are several.

1) Less non-billable support is needed because less follow up is required, such as

a) Following up on tracking open tickets

b) Tracking down the status of the open tickets flagged for investigation

c) Reaching out to vendors or engaged billable resources for updates

2) Less disruptions experienced in Billable Resources leads to increased productivity and quality

a) Less phone calls and emails asking for updates

b) Less time researching notes to remember where things are

c) Less time making up excuses for just being overworked

3) Increase in Customer satisfaction as a result of great Time to Completion experience

a) Reduces the amount of churn

b) Increases the value, and therefore what the provider can charge for services

The internal impact-to-profit of Time to Completion service requests taking more than 20% over the average could cost the company between $150 – $415; for 100 such service requests, $15,000 to $41,500.

What about all those other metrics we hear about? At a recent MSP-Ignite Service Manager Peer Group conference call the question was asked, “Who is following what metrics”.” Here is the list:

Subset of Time to Completion:

* Oldest Ticket

* SLA (Service Level Agreement) performance

* Open ticket backlog by age

* Closed Ticket by Tech

* Last activity date

* Ticket burn down (open vs close)

* Time per Service Request type

* Ticket type by Tech

* Customer Satisfaction

To be Discussed in a future article in this series:

* Tickets per endpoint

* Time per endpoint

* Project metrics burn down

* Open tickets

Out of scope for this series:

* Quality of documentation

P.S. If the value of benchmarking, tracking and improving the Time to Completion metric and how it ties into improving other popular metrics is clear as mud, let me know. I would love to have a one-on-one discussion on the topic.

Stephen Buyze is a Resource Planning Analyst who is “Empowering Service Managers to increase profit.”

For more about Stephen Buyze

To follow me, Stephen Buyze / Blogs

For more information about MSP-Ignite Service Manager Peer Groups

For more about HDI “The Association for Technical Support Professionals.”

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply