Business initiatives and recommendations are the key components that empower a vCIO to build a meaningful strategic roadmap for every customer — the 12 to 18 month plan that guides your business relationship with each client.
On a recent podcast, I spoke with Rob Danser, senior Member Success Advisor at TruMethods, about how our software, myITprocess, enables MSPs to develop a repeatable process for providing useful and informative recommendations for their customers.
To give the best value to your clients, it is important to understand how these different elements (initiatives, recommendations, strategic roadmaps) all compliment each other and the roles they play in the standards and alignment process to form an awesome end result.
Implementing initiatives and recommendations
For each customer, you want to build a meaningful strategic roadmap, which I’ll get to later.
Within that roadmap, there are recommendations, which are the objectives you strive to accomplish each quarter. They are a specific thing you want to get a client to make a decision on. Basically, is it a ‘go or no-go’?
Then, there are initiatives, which span across several quarters. Think of an initiative as the wrapper that goes around all of your recommendations. Initiatives are designed to show that the things we’re telling the customer to do are all part of a larger whole. The critical piece is getting those larger wholes implemented.
For example, let’s say you need to upgrade a customer’s security. Now, upgrading security is the initiative, a component of the overarching plan, and whatever actions your customer must take to accomplish that initiative are your recommendations.
Building strategic roadmaps
Now that we’ve defined initiatives and recommendations, let’s move on to how they fit into strategic roadmaps.
Successful MSPs take a step back and look at the larger picture and use initiatives to represent this in the roadmap.
For all of your customers, you want to think about where that company should be in the next 12-18 months and less about the objectives you are trying to accomplish quarter by quarter. When you have that vision and finish line in mind, you can help the customer achieve their technology goals in a more effective way.
You’ve heard me use the term VCO (Virtual Captain Obvious) versus being a true vCIO. Utilizing initiatives and recommendations truly makes this a strategic process and is key in building a meaningful roadmap for your customers.
What’s been the feedback from TruMethods customers?
The Strategic Roadmap module within myITprocess has been out now for a little more than a year, and we’ve received some great feedback from TruMethods members.
The process has been assisting them with helping customers make smarter, more informed decisions about their technology.
myITprocess has allowed them to manage workflows easily and track results.
Now, instead of having to hop back and forth between pages, TruMethods members can see at a glance all of their customers’ budgets for four quarters on the new myITprocess home page. They can view what has been accepted versus what has been proposed. They can then move to the associated strategic roadmap to view the full breakdown. It’s super, super valuable. Everything’s completely laid out.
Our meeting mode is also a very useful tool in the system. At first look, large initiatives may seem daunting or overwhelming to companies. The meeting mode in myITprocess breaks down these initiatives and allows you to present each component one at a time. This helps the client get to a place where they can make concrete decisions. Instead of hearing phrases like, ‘I’ll get back to you’, you’ll start hearing yes or no answers.
Initiatives, recommendations and strategic roadmaps in the myITprocess software are tools that will assist you with helping customers make knowledgeable decisions to achieve their individual technology goals. This is where high-performing MSPs live today!