ITIL Standards for Response / Resolution Times

March 29th, 2014 | Posted by Don Boylan in Continual Service Improvement | Incident Management | Service Level Management

I am reviewing the current response and resolution time metrics for an internal service desk that supports a 10,000 person company.  Currently the company uses 4 severity levels for incidents.  While I realize the response and resolution times are defined by an SLA, is there a good benchmark to start with? I would like to point to an industry standard if one exists.

The current metrics and targets look something like this…

Severity – Response Target – % Met – Resolution Target – % Met
1 – 15 minutes – 90% – 2 hours – 85%
2 – 2 hour – 90% – 4 hours – 85%
3 – 4 hours – 90% – 3 bus days – 85%
4 – 8 hours – 90% – 5 bus days – 85%


Those seem reasonable but understand that ITIL isn’t about industry standards on response/resolve times.

I would say a better way to approach it is to measure your current response/resolve delivery times for a baseline, and then put in a plan for continuous improvement.

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2 Responses

  • Angelo says:

    Hello Don,
    I am having the same issue: I need to find some industry benchmarks for Incident Management (resolution, response, who is committing for response only…). I wonder if you received an answer to this part of the question.

    Thank you.

    • Don Boylan says:

      I don’t and the metrics vary widely dependent on many other aspects of the company, culture, and nature of the requests. If your organization has connections with Gartner, IDC or Forrester, contact them. They specialize in gathering that type of data and then segmenting it into different industries and company types.

      That being said, I still stand by my original advice that your organization should baseline it’s current practice and then put in a plan for Continuous Improvement.


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