Why Resource Utilization can help you balance Internal time in your IT MSP

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Resource Utilization, IT Service Manager

Previously, we discussed how changing a Technician’s habits can help ensure their timesheets are submitted on time. Now we are shifting our focus to the next Resource Utilization area to review: Internal Time. 

Resource Utilization Fast Facts 

Did you know? The industry average of Resource Utilization is currently 70%, with some MSP’s running at about 50%. The best in class within the whole population of MSP’s is in the 80+% range.  

To reach 90% is achievable – but not sustainable. Working day in and day out, with the Technician’s efforts focused on Customer facing work across the board, it is assumed more than 90% of the time, the routine will get old and burn the Technician out.  

Start by Running the Resource Utilization Report  

If you are not running the Resource Utilization report on a weekly basis and do not know where the individual, team/department, and company Resource Utilization percentage is at, please run the report now to use as a benchmark measurement as we drive for improvement.  

In the world of Autotask, here is where to find and run the report:   

  • Roll over the big “A”  
  • Reports   
  • Resources   
  • General   
  • Resource Utilization (right hand column, 2nd one down)  

The reason industry averages and benchmarking are mentioned above is to emphasize that the Technicians’ timesheets need to be submitted on time before we can move on in the process.  

No data = no analysis 

The second reason is that the rest of the report consists of Customer facing time – and that is the type of work we want the Technicians to focus on 80%+ of the time. The majority of the non-Customer facing time is spent in Internal Time 

Resource Utilization, IT Service ManagerIT MSPs: Find a Balance with Internal Time 

Internal time is a reality, and most of it is good, needed, and expected. Training, meetings, documentation clean up time, etc. are all good things to be working on. However, how much time devoted to this area of the timesheets is a concern.  

The more time spent in internal time, the less time available for Customer facing work and therefore, less opportunity for the Company to make a budget to stay in business.  

While most internal time is good and expected, hiding non-productive wasted time in an internal time code is not beneficial. We certainly do not expect the Technicians to remember what they were doing every minute of every day – but knowing what 90% of their time consists of is a reasonable expectation.  

An internal time code of Misc. Admin is a benefit for both the Technician and the IT Service Manager.  For the Technician, it lets them off the hook  trying to remember what they were doing every minute of the week.  For the IT Service Manager, it identifies coaching moments.  An internal time code of Misc. Admin can go a long way in capturing Unknown time 

The Conversation Between IT Service Manager & Technician  

The conversation from an IT Service Manager to the Technician usually goes something like this:    

“We are not expecting you to know or remember what you were working on every moment of the day. So, at the end of the week, when you are filling in your timesheet, please “true up” the timesheet by putting any Unknown time in the internal time code of Admin. This way, your timesheet shows a complete work week, but you are off the hook trying to remember every minute of every day.”  

A Tool for IT Service Managers to Find Lost Profit 

The process of creating and capturing unknown time gives the IT Service Manager a tool to find lost profit. From experience, most of the unknown time is Customer facing billable time that was forgotten during the fast pace of the work week.  

As mentioned, internal time is good. Unknown time is to be expected, but when the unknown time is more than 10% (4 hours) per week, it is time to coach the Technician to work on real-time time entry so that lost profit and good documentation can be captured.  

I want to hear from you! Tell me:  

  • Do you struggle with Resource Utilization management?  
  • Do you feel pressure to manage Resource Utilization?  
  • Are you lost on where to start?  

Most IT Service Managers can answer ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions. So, know that you are not alone.  

Please share your experiences in the comments below!


Steve Buyze via LinkedIn 

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