First Reply or First Response Report explained

This guide aims to provide an understanding of the First Reply or First Response Report, along with a comparison to Jira's standard reporting functionality.


In the context of IT Service Management (ITSM), "first response" and "first reply" can have subtly different meanings. Moreover, different organisations might use these terms in slightly different ways, so it's always important to clarify the specific meanings within your own context.

In each case, these are key metrics for measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of IT service desks. In general, we can define these terms as follows:

  1. First Response: In ITSM, this usually refers to the initial acknowledgment of a ticket or incident reported by a user. It may not necessarily include a solution or even a reply with useful information. The goal is typically to let the user know that their issue has been logged and someone is taking care of it. The time between the user submitting the issue and this initial acknowledgement is often called "First Response Time".

  2. First Reply: This term typically refers to the first meaningful response to a ticket or incident, where the support team provides some form of assistance or asks for more information to clarify the issue. The aim is not merely to acknowledge the issue, but to engage with the user and work towards a solution. This term is often considered synonymous with "first response", but it’s important to keep it separated. And, in situations where the distinction is made, "first reply" usually refers to this more substantive response.


Summarising above, First Response metrics could be whatever acknowledgement that someone started to look into a ticket. In ITSM, it typically happens when ticket status is changed from initial state to something (“acknowledged“, “in progress“ etc.). The First Reply metric, in contrast, only exists for first meaningful, valuable written message to the person who raised the ticket. We may consider it as a first public comment from issue non-reporter in the issue itself.

Why to keep them separated?

Maintaining a distinction between First Response Time and First Reply Time metrics can be crucial in IT Service Management (ITSM) for several reasons:

  1. Measuring Different Aspects of Service: These two metrics measure different aspects of the service desk's performance. First Response Time assesses how quickly the service team acknowledges an incident, which can be important for customer satisfaction – people generally want to know that their issue is being addressed. First Reply Time, on the other hand, measures the time it takes for a service team to provide a substantial response to an issue, which speaks more to the effectiveness and efficiency of the service team in handling issues.

  2. Identifying Bottlenecks and Areas for Improvement: Separating these metrics can help identify where delays are occurring in the service process. For instance, if FRT is short but First Reply Time is long, it could indicate that while incidents are being acknowledged quickly, the resolution of these incidents is taking too long, suggesting issues in problem-solving efficiency.

  3. Improving Customer Satisfaction: Understanding and improving both these metrics can lead to higher customer satisfaction. A quick first response gives customers reassurance that their issue has been noted, while a timely first reply shows that the service desk is actively working to solve their problems.

  4. Benchmarking and Goals Setting: Keeping these metrics separate allows for more granular benchmarking against industry standards, and for setting more precise goals for improvement.

What does Jira offer to measure First Response and First Reply?

Out of box

Out of the box Jira offers First Response Time metric measured against SLAs set in Jira Service Management. By default, this metric value is captured when first public comment in the ticket is made. Hence, this metric is “First Reply“ metric rather than “First Response“. Moreover, if an agent will change ticket status without setting any public comment, this metric will not be updated.


Thus, there are several limitations in out of the box pre-configured solutions.

First Reply and First Response Metrics are not separated

By default, only First Reply metric is calculated

Out of box but requiring some efforts and permissions

  1. Custom Fields and Statuses: Jira allows you to create custom fields and statuses. You could set up a custom field to capture the timestamp when a team member first responds to a ticket and another field when they send the first substantive reply.

  2. SLA (Service Level Agreement) Metrics: In Jira Service Management, you can define SLAs for various actions, including time to first response and time to resolution. Once these SLAs are set up, Jira will automatically start a timer when a new issue is created, pause it when the issue is waiting for a customer, and stop it when the issue is resolved. These metrics can be used to gauge both first response and first reply (or resolution) times.

  3. Reports and Dashboards: Once you have your fields and SLAs set up, you can create reports or dashboards to visualize these metrics. You can create custom queries (using JQL - Jira Query Language) to extract these data, and then build charts or other visualizations to track performance over time.

Actonic First Reply or First Response Report

At Actonic, we introduced Report capable of measuring both First Reply and First Response precisely and easy.

Terms we use are aligned with the best ITSM practices definitions of First Response and First reply applied for Jira world:

First Reply Time. First Reply Time report calculation is based on the time of the first public comment made (not restricted to a group) and the commenter should be a different user than the reporter.

First Response Time. First Response Time is the time between when a customer submits a ticket and when a customer support representative provides an initial response by changing ticket status. It indicates how long a customer has to wait before someone starts working on the ticket.

Report screenshots are below:

First Response Time
First Reply Time over the same data