Time to Install / Time to Value
This is one post in a series that outlines some key metrics that best-in-class software vendors tend to focus on when designing the teams, process, and product integrations for distributing their application to customer environments.
- The end-to-end time it takes a particular customer to go from the start of the first installation attempt to live software in production delivering value.
- Reduction in time to install will allow you to complete more installations in less time.
- This also relates to end customer satisfaction, as it will allow your customers to see value faster during the crucial POC or onboarding phase.
- This can be measured for every installation attempt. Median, mean, and percentile values of this metric across all installation attempts can be used to assess overall performance in the delivery of software into customer environments.
Best in class
- Best in class vendors will generally complete 80% of installs in under 2 hours.
How to measure
- The specific start and end points of measurement for this metric can vary, but we generally advise to measure this metric from when an install is first kicked off to when the application is fully installed and usable.
- While Replicated can help with providing data for when a customer license is created to when it is live and checking in (for online installs), we don’t have sufficient information to fully track this metric on your behalf.
- We recommend keeping track of when you begin and complete each install, either internally or on a Day 1 card on your Replicated collab-repo in GitHub.
- Below is an example graph of tracking this metric over time:
- And for a specific 90-day period, understanding the distribution of install times for 40 end-user instances
How to improve
Preflight checks - customizing preflight checks to ensure the customer’s infrastructure meets the needs of your application is the most impactful way to reduce the time it takes to complete an install. Continuing to iterate on preflight checks as you find new limitations/requirements is key to continually reducing Time to Install as you scale to tens or hundreds of installations per year.
Support bundles - In the scenario where something doesn’t go as planned, customizing your support bundles through collectors and analyzers can help you find the source of the issue to resolve it. You can also use the information gathered in support bundles to help identify additional items to add into your preflight checks and/or documentation.
Basic dashboard customization - application custom resources can help improve your customer’s experience and make it easier for them to understand application health during initial setup.
Documentation - sharing documentation on prerequisites, installation process, and troubleshooting steps with your customer will help them be more prepared and able to be more agile during the install. Continuing to iterate on your documentation with insights from previous installs will help you continue to move towards your time to install goal. Replicated has a documentation starter repo that can be used as a starting point for creating effective documentation.
Technical review - we recommend that all of our Vendors go through a technical review with a member of our team. Technical reviews consist of the issuing of a trial or development license to Replicated, and we will go through a test installation using your install documentation. During this process we look for areas in your documentation and in the application deployment that can be improved. We check for best practices and ways to improve your overall install experience.
- Support Burden and Time-to-live tend to be correlated, but measure different things.
- Once Time-to-live and time-to-value are under control, vendors tend to look at improving the fraction of installations that can be performed fully self-service