From Chaos to Zen: Are you there yet?

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Chaos to Zen

This is a pivotal moment for you – and the Managed Service Provider that you own or manage.  

45-60 days from now, life could be the same old, same old: 

  1. Same Employee morale and turnover problems 
  2. Same Customer dissatisfaction issues and churn 
  3. Same profit margins that you are embarrassed to report to the Peer Group 

Or, what about this? You could transform Chaos into Zen and turn things around at your IT MSP. (Yes, this IS possible…really!

Where to start? It’s easy!  Check out the comprehensive list below of articles we’ve written just for you.  

These articles will walk you through how to: 

– Informs them of what to work on next. 

– Gives them awareness of what could disrupt their day. 

Keeps their eye on the Triage Queue for new requests. 

– Gives them a holistic view of every open ticket. 

– Helps focus on what is important, out of all the noise. 

– Journey map the Customer’s experience. 

– Explain how Statuses tie into Widgets, SLAs, and Workflow Rules/Notifications. 

  • Reconfigure SLA’s to drive the operations to: 

– Apply a non-Contract SLA. 

– Apply an SLA for both Incidents and Service Requests. 

  • And now: Transitioning from Chaos to Zen!  

– Workflow Rules that actually help. 

– Cleaning up the Technicians “Ready to Be Resolved widget.” 

– Addressing the backlog of 100+ tickets.

And like the others that have gone before you, drive the chaos out of the Service Delivery operation in just 45-60 days. 

If this series is as clear as Mud, book a free 30-minute clarification call with Steve.

If you have been following the series, you should have:  

  • Great dashboards
  • Statuses which have been cleaned up
  • Service Level Management (SLA) driving your operation  

But how do you get from what you see on your dashboard to the promised land? I mean, what do you do with the volume of open tickets clogging up the system? 

Before you accuse me of selling “Snake Oil”, here is what to do: 

Important Workflow Rules: 

Non-Contract SLA 

As you know, the Managed Service Agreement contracts are applied to tickets when the Default Contract box is checked and mapping the contract to the proper SLA.  

Note: These contract fields need to be populated before the dashboard is fully functional.  

But how do you apply the non-contract SLA to the ticket when there is no default contract? The easiest way is to create a workflow rule that updates the SLA to a Non-Contract SLA ithe Contract Category is empty.  

On Hold with Due Date in the Past  

Here is the build guide for this WFR: 

  1. Name: On Hold with Past Due Date 
  2. Description
  3. Overdue by: 1 minute 
  4. Condition: Status Equal To On Hold 
  5. Notification  

– Check Initiating Resource 

– On Hold with Past Due Date notification template 

On Hold Release WFR 

  1. Name: On Hold Release 
  2. Due: 1 day 
  3. Condition: Status Equal To On Hold 
  4. Update: Status Equal To In Progress 

Reopen Ticket WFR 

The first step is to create a Ticket User Defined Field (UDF) called Reopened. The UDF is a Yes/No list. Then create a Workflow Rule with a condition Status changed from complete, update the UDF to “Yes”. 

From here, Reopened Ticket reporting on both trend, volume, and who first closed it- is a simple Live Report. 

Technician Dashboard: Ready to Be Resolved Widget 

Once the Technician dashboard is built and fully functional, you still have the issue of addressing the volume of Tickets, most of which are a backlog.

“The most damaging phrase in the language is: ‘It’s always been done that way.’”  -Grace Hopper  

Here’s how to move from the old way of doing things to a new and much more improved way: 

  1. Address everything in the Ready to Be Resolved widget before the first item with Next SLA Event Due in the future. 
  2. There are several tactics to address those tickets that are getting in the way: 
  • Any work in the widget that needs to be prioritized as a project must be scheduled with Service Calls – with enough time to do the work. 
  • Any ticket that is to be done in the future (and that date is known) is scheduled with Service Calls. 
  • Any ticket waiting ___ needs to be coded with status “Waiting … (fill in the blank)”. 
  • Any ticket that you don’t know what to do with or that doesn’t need to be done anytime soon, should be put on hold with a future due date (no more than 30 days out, assuming the On-Hold mechanism is in place). 

Service Coordinator Dashboard: 

Backlog Tickets: 

backlog ticket is a ticket that has missed Completion SLA by more than a week. Before panicking too much, Techs typically have 20 non-recurring open tickets in their name at any one time.  

For instance, if you are a 4 Tech shop, having 80 tickets open is OK.  

With that said, here are some key guidelines: 

  • No more than 3% of the tickets should have missed Completion SLA. 
  • And none of them by more than a week. 

Here are the steps: 

  • Focus forward, keep the Triage queue empty and stop missing SLAs: 

– Keep up with new work efficiently. 

– Start building the habits needed to keep your head above water. 

  • Hold a mandatory morning huddle (15-20 minutes long):  

– What is on everyone’s schedule and where are they during the day? 

– Which requests are they struggling with? 

– Review the number of Open Tickets and call out the 3-5 oldest backlog tickets, with a plea to keep up (and at least close) these 3-5 tickets. 

  • Generate a weekly backlog Live Report: 

– Filtered to be the 5 oldest tickets. 

– Work to complete the engagement of the 5 oldest tickets this week. 

  • Hold a Ticket Killing party! 

– Some MSPs celebrate monthly and provide Pizza and Beer (woohoo!). 

– Some block out the first 2 hours of every day to address backlog tickets. 

– I have scheduled full days between projects to address Ticket backlogs. 

– Another MSP blocks out every Wednesday afternoon.** 

  1. All Hands On-Deck – no excuses, no projects, no one absent. 
  2. Backlog report is sent to everyone Tuesday morning. 


No non-project Ticket is over 13 days old. 


Our goal is to help MSPs optimize their operations by teaching them the best Service Delivery practices we have come across.  

This series was on optimizing the Technician and Service Coordinator’s day. Our next series will focus on Triage SOPs and Customer-Facing communications.  

Please stay with us – and enjoy the trek as we discuss how to best optimize your Managed Service Provider Service Delivery operations. 

If this series is as clear as Mud, book a free 30-minute clarification call with Steve.

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