How did a parking lot remind me of your Technology Success practice?
Although some people have returned to the office at this point in the pandemic, there are still many people working from home. Of the companies that are still working from home, their office parking lots have not seen nearly the amount of activity that they once did. At one point after TruMethods went to work from home, I drove past an office parking lot in town and noticed mother nature was taking over.
Some context: This particular parking lot was covered with rocks versus having been paved. Underneath those rocks? I can only imagine it was dirt. The previously predictable daily human intervention in the form of cars driving on top of it and people walking over it, along with occasional landscaping was no longer in motion since everyone was working from home. This allowed for entropy (the natural disorder of things) to take its course, and greenery started peeking through.
If you have made it this far, now it's time to connect this seemingly random observation to your MSP's service delivery operations. When it comes to proactive activities like Technology Alignment and vCIO, we either continue the discipline which allows for it to stay clean and efficient or we fall off course which results in most of the work that went into it to unravel. The latter tends to take us back into focusing on reactive, lower value activities which permeate through the organization (similar to the weeds in the parking lot) and impact the company's efficiency and profitability.
Here are some key recommendations that TruMethods makes regularly in order to keep proactive discipline in place as MSPs implement and continuously improve upon the Technology Success practice:
- Pre-schedule Technology Alignment and vCIO meetings with clients. This lends itself to more predictability internally, and continuous client expectation setting. We recommend scheduling these a year in advance, but even mapping out each quarter would do the job to get started.
- Put appropriate Service Delivery Meeting Structure in place. These are meeting rhythms scheduled internally to keep the team on track and in constant communication. Form a standards committee and have them meet on a regular basis. Depending on the size of your organization, the committee could vary in size but should represent reactive, proactive, and strategic functions of the business in order to add multiple layers of perspective.
- Regularly re-evaluate the frequencies of the Success Rhythms set in place. The rhythms that were determined when you started may not be the rhythms that are needed now, determine what frequencies make the most sense for you and your clients as you move down the path to proactivity.
The way to be successful is to be consistent, and keeping the appropriate disciplines in place (while evaluating/adjusting them on a regular basis) will keep you on track toward building a more successful, proactive MSP. Unlike with an overgrown parking lot, we cannot just occasionally call in the landscapers when our operations and client relationships go sideways. Keep the right disciplines in place, and your Technology Success practice will continue to thrive!
Think about this: What other disciplines do you and your teams put in place to keep continuous improvement efforts alive in your organizations?