It's no surprise that most Managed Service Providers (MSP's) or IT Service Providers struggle with establishing and maintaining a policies and standards library that is easy to use, manage and share with your team and moreover clients.
Why? No doubt, because it is difficult to dedicate expensive and busy resources to documenting, oh, and then maintaining your Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) library. It's no wonder many MSP's are finding SOPwerks to be a lifesaver (okay maybe a little dramatic) but definitely a huge timesaver. Not only are MSP's benefiting from saving precious time, but they really love the ability to deliver professional looking documentation to their team and clients… but how can you make sure you are really benefiting from your investment?
Here are 9 Best Practices Successful MSP's follow to successfully implement a SOP Culture using SOPwerks ™ :
#1 - Set your Standards and Best Practices.
The Onboarding Wizard is the heart of the system. Many of the curated templates are generated using your answers to the onboarding wizard. Make sure to answer according to your preferred way of delivering services. This will be the baseline used to measure your staff or customers. Don't worry about the exceptions, (you know who they are, yeah those "special" clients) you can create a customized policy for them later.
#2 - Configure your Clients.
Uploading or creating your clients in the system will be key not only to assign your templates but to give them access as well. This is also how you will be able to customize a template for a client when needed. Successful MSP's also add their clients to the system because they want to not only show professional documentation, which makes them efficient and secured but also prepares you and the client for those insurance or auditor questions. PS - don't forget to upload the client’s logo to give a professional looking document portal.
#3 - Review Curated Standards and Policies.
Not all MSP's are created equal, peruse through the templates and select the ones that make sense for your internal teams and your clients. Save a draft copy of the desired templates under your company or client company, this will give you the best viewing experience.
#4 - Create Additional Standards, Policies and Best Practices.
The templates library really helps save time and gets those creative juices going, now you can easily create any additional standards or best practices that are missing for your team or clients.
#5 - Publish your Internal Standards, Policies and Best Practices.
Your most important client is you… Make sure you added your company as a client. Now you can publish all your internal standards, policies, procedures and best practices to yourself. If you already had your company and drafts created, jump into the clients page, select your company and publish all your "Draft" templates to your company. Don’t stop here though, read along to see how you can benefit yourself and clients...
#6 - Publish your Customer Facing Standards, Policies and Best Practices.
Best-in-Class MSP's provide clients access to the SOPwerks client portal because they want clients to align to their standards and industry best practices. vCIO's leverage the tool to help communicate alignment. The client portal really removes the guesswork, clients have a centralized location they can leverage for their IT and non-IT policies.
#7 - Communicate with your Team and Clients.
Once you've published your Internal and Client Standards, it's time to open the flood gates. Add your team as end users to your "customer" version of the company. Send them an invite, let them know how they can easily access the portal. Welcome ideas and improvement feedback. Do the same with your clients, start with the primary point of contact. Have the vCIO or account rep personally invite them and discuss the benefits. Show them how easy it is to share a policy with their auditors or team.
#8 - Continual Alignment with Clients and Internally.
Successful MSP's take this step seriously. The only way to limit reactive issues, and make your team efficient is to align clients to a standard. Best-in-Class MSP's don't leave this to chance, rather they continually use the SOPwerks client portal to remind and align clients to the standard or industry best practices.
#9 - Periodic Updates.
As an industry standard (and in some cases - compliance reasons), make sure to review your standard periodically. Some standards will no longer apply or will become deprecated, make sure to unpublish those and replace them with updated versions. If you need to change a core standard (for example, the way you patch or your operating hours), you can easily update all your SOP's centrally by simply updating your Onboarding Standards.
While it is true that SOPwerks helps MSP's save a significant amount of time with access to a large library (MSP Standards, Procedures and Best Practices) and delivers on a professional system to manage and share those standards, to truly benefit, MSP's must dedicate some time upfront to properly implement the tool, otherwise they won't unlock the full potential.
"Because Stress Free Werks Best."
Ready to create SOP's for your MSP business? We can help! Our mission at MSPwerks is to develop MSP tools targeted to help MSP's run their business, reduce employee stress, increase overall productivity, and generate healthy revenue. Our MSP tool, SOPwerks, is an easy-to-use, online platform that makes creating quality SOP's simple and fast. Create your own SOP from scratch or use one of our MSP SOP templates filled with checklists designed by MSP industry experts. Learn more here: MSPwerks.com