Reopened Issues: The Sequel We Didn't Ask For 🔄

We all love when Jira issues are closed. Watching Opened vs. Closed reports makes everyone happy, regardless if these are software-related issues, service management-related issues, or any work management tasks.

But what if those issues, once closed, rise up again because the initial resolution didn't quite hit the mark? What would be the impact of issues being reopened?

Reopened issues.jpg


Impact of Jira Issues being Reopened 💬

Well, the most well-known impact would be on operational processes in IT Service Management. It is obvious that no user is pleased when they have to reopen tickets that were closed mistakenly by the Service Desk. However, apart from this obvious scenario, there could be many cases where it is important to keep track of the metric for reopened Jira issues. It's not possible to prevent issues from being reopened, but it's important to monitor how many of them are being reopened.

Let's see where it could be important to monitor reopened Jira issues (or tickets, if we speak about service management) for:





Impact of Jira Issues being Reopened


Incident Management

The primary purpose of this process is to restore normal service operation as quickly as possible and minimize the adverse impact on business operations. If incidents are frequently being reopened, it can indicate that resolutions are not effective or that root causes are not being adequately addressed.


Service Request Management

Monitoring reopened tickets in service requests can highlight areas where users might need additional assistance or where the initial fulfillment was not adequate. This ensures user satisfaction and timely service delivery.


Problem Management

This process focuses on identifying the root cause of incidents and finding ways to prevent them in the future. A high rate of ticket reopenings can signal deeper underlying issues that need to be addressed through problem management.


Change Control (Change Management)

Sometimes, changes introduced into the environment can lead to issues. If tickets related to specific changes are frequently reopened, it might indicate that the change was not effectively implemented or that it introduced unforeseen problems.


Service Level Management

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) often have criteria related to the resolution time of incidents. Reopened tickets can affect SLA compliance, as the initial “resolution” did not truly resolve the issue for the end user.


Knowledge Management

Reopened tickets can be an indication that the solutions provided in the knowledge base are not effective or might be outdated. Keeping track of reopenings can guide updates to the knowledge articles to ensure they remain relevant and helpful.


Configuration Management

If specific configuration items (CIs) are associated with frequently reopened tickets, it might indicate that those CIs are problematic and require closer examination or changes.


Release Management

Reopened tickets related to recent releases can indicate problems with those releases. It might be a sign that the release was not thoroughly tested or that unforeseen issues arose in the production environment.


Measurement and Reporting

Regularly monitoring and reporting on reopened tickets can provide essential metrics to stakeholders and decision-makers about the health of IT services and the effectiveness of the current ITSM processes.


Continual Improvement

ITSM frameworks, like ITIL, emphasize the importance of continual improvement. Analyzing the reasons behind ticket reopenings can provide valuable insights into areas that require improvement. This analysis can help identify gaps in training, documentation, tooling, or other aspects of service delivery. By understanding why tickets are being reopened, teams can take proactive measures to address these issues and enhance their overall performance.

Agile & SAFe

Sprint Retrospectives

Reopened Jira issues indicate areas where the development or testing process might have lapsed. This feedback is vital for continuous improvement.

Agile & SAFe

Backlog Prioritization

Reopened tickets can influence the prioritization of the backlog, ensuring crucial fixes aren't overlooked in subsequent sprints.

Agile & SAFe


Monitoring reopened tickets is critical in CI/CD pipelines to ensure software quality and reliability during rapid releases.

Agile & SAFe

Program Increments

In SAFe, reopened tickets can influence planning for future Program Increments (PIs), ensuring alignment and addressing core issues.

Enterprise Service Management (VeriSM based)

Service Culture

Reopened tickets in ESM can reveal gaps in the service delivery, impacting the service culture and end-user experience.

Enterprise Service Management (VeriSM based)

Define (VeriSM)

Understanding the frequency of reopened tickets helps in defining service management principles aligned with organizational objectives.

Enterprise Service Management (VeriSM based)

Produce (VeriSM)

Reopened tickets offer feedback on service production and delivery, ensuring alignment with consumer needs and expectations.

Enterprise Service Management (VeriSM based)

Service Measurement (VeriSM)

Tracking reopened tickets provides key metrics for service measurement, crucial for evaluating service quality and areas of improvement.


How to control Jira Issues being reopened? 🔍

First step: Numbers 🔢

There are two basic number metrics one could track to control Jira issues being reopened:

  • Number of reopened Jira issues in a given period of time

  • Relation between the total number of issues being closed and ones being reopened in a given period of time

The second metric is called “Reopened tickets rate“ or “Reopened issue rate“, and provides the ultimate visibility on the effectiveness of Jira issues resolution and/or closure procedures.

The formula to calculate the reopened issue rate typically involves comparing the number of tickets that were reopened to the total number of resolved (closed) tickets within a given time frame as mentioned above. Here's a basic formula you can use:

Reopened Tickets Rate = ( (Count of Tickets Reopened) / (Count if Tickets Resolved or Closed) ) x 100%

Reopened Tickets: Crunching the Numbers

This formula will give you the percentage of tickets that were reopened after they had been initially resolved. To use it effectively, you need to rely on:

  1. Number of Reopened Tickets: Count the tickets that were reopened after being resolved. A ticket is considered “reopened” if it was marked as resolved or closed (for instance, by changing its status category to done) and later changed it status category back to to do or in progress .

  2. Total Number of Resolved Tickets: Count all the tickets that were resolved in the same time period, including those that were later reopened.

  3. Time Frame: Choose a consistent time frame for measuring this rate, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly. This will help in tracking trends and making meaningful comparisons over time.

Second Step: Visuals 📈

The best options for visualizing if you are doing well with your reopened Jira issues are to build a "Closed vs. Reopened Issues" timeline and "Reopened Issues Rate" graphs, and monitor them over certain periods of time.

With such reports in place, you can monitor trends and take necessary actions when an increase in the number of reopened Jira issues is observed.






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