Meantime to recovery (MTTR) matters more than many businesses realize. And yet even those organizations that want to reduce downtime can fall short because the changes they make to achieve this result in compromises elsewhere.
With that in mind, here is a look at why MTTR is important in the first place, and what you can do to ameliorate it without suffering suboptimal side-effects as a result.
Why an MTTR Analysis is Essential for Maintenance Planning
Once you have got to grips with the definition of MTTR, you will be able to appreciate why tracking this particular metric can make a difference to how you plan for and execute the maintenance of mission-critical systems.
In essence, measuring MTTR gives you a baseline for your performance capabilities in a crisis. With this at hand, you can then alter plans and practices, track the outcomes, and have a point of comparison to determine whether or not you have succeeded in securing improvements to uptime and availability.
MTTR can also be factored in alongside other measurements of performance, and your calculations have to take into account the impact of downtime during specific periods. For example, outages, when demand is at a peak, will be far more costly than those that occur outside of the busiest windows. All this can push you towards putting together a maintenance schedule that is minimally disruptive.
How Can You Improve Your Current MTTR Performance?
There are a few steps to take when intending to overhaul MTTR performance, and following these will make your life easier.
While a generic MTTR and maintenance plan might be a good framework to start from, it is better to build out a strategy that is tailored to the unique needs and circumstances of the workflow you are focusing on and the product you are dealing with.
Documentation is vital to creating consistent responses to outages, unplanned or otherwise, so it also pays to put your heads together and develop a checklist that focuses on the main pain points in a given workflow and product.
The more you can automate your maintenance and recovery of mission-critical systems, the less you will be reliant on fallible human team members to get the job done when the pressure is on. This also means that you can make full use of all of your available resources efficiently, rather than finding that manual processes are creating speed bumps that slow you down when every second counts.
Finally, do not forget that any improvements to your MTTR cannot be judged precisely unless you know ahead of time what you are setting out to achieve.
You can factor in a multitude of other metrics alongside the base level measurements of the time it takes to recover from technical troubles, such as the aforementioned inclusion of the time of day and the amount of usage which the services are receiving at that point.
Every organization needs to tackle MTTR measurements and improvements in a way that fits in with their needs and resources.
The general point is that by planning thoroughly and knowing what to measure, you will see positive results from the steps you take, while also being able to spot where things are not quite meeting expectations.
Small and large companies alike stand to benefit from better management of MTTR, so don’t delay updating policies even if you are confident in your current capabilities.