Real-Time Time entry, it’s not just a myth!

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What to say: 

You’ve built this great Cascading Contract Automation, but it doesn’t quite seem to be providing all the benefits touted 

  • The ratio of T&M to Managed Services support remains about the same (2/98) 
  • Sales & Accounting personnel are still spending about a day and half per billing cycle cleaning up the invoices 
Unshackled: Guiding MSPs to Freedom from Service Delivery Issues to Grow the Company starts with a FREE PSA Self-Evaluation.

Hmmm. What went wrong, you ask? 

Communication is Key at Every MSP 

Forgetting to communicate – go figureIt is inherently known in the MSP industry that the Sales side of the house does not collaborate with the Service Delivery sideIf this is not true within your organization – kudos to you and to your leadership – keep up the good work. 

But if you need guidance on how to lead your organization to a Sales/Service Delivery collaborative environment – call us! That’s what we specialize in. 

If this is the case, relax, its easy…really! All you need to do is ask the Techs to answer one crucial question –  

What type of work did you do?  

Insist that they do Real-Time Time Entry, and at the time they are adding their notes and time into the ticket, expect them to review and adjust the Work Type.  

Wait, Real-Time Time Entry is a myth you say?! Not at one MSP that we are aware of, and several others we are in direct communication with. 

Here is the process they used to successfully groom the Real-Time Time Entry habit: 

time entry

Case Study: Real-Time Time Entry Success Story 

One of our Customers, to change their Tech’s Real-Time Time Entry habits, instituted a Document Detention policy.  

Here is how it worked: 

  • In April, Document Detention was announced by the Owner in a Staff Meeting. 
  • April was a transition month, and starting in May, Document Detention would include docking the tech’s pay. 
  • At the end of the workday, the Service Coordinator (Bad Cop) would check the amount of time in their timesheets for the day. 
  • If they did not have more than six hours of their time in, the Service Coordinator would inform them that they needed to report for Document Detention. 
  • Informing the Tech that they needed to report for Document Detention, included a Zoom invite (they were a dispersed workforce), and a message that the Owner was waiting for them. Not sure what would happen if they did not report, as the Owner did not have to cross that bridge. 
  • When they did join, the Owner (Good Cop) welcomed them. He then asked them what they did today and offered to assist them as they updated the documentation in the ticket and added their time entry. 

The Results: 

  • In the first two weeks of April, about half the Techs needed to report each dayDifferent sets of Techs each day, and all of them, by the end of the first two weeks. 
  • In the last two weeks, only a few Techs were reporting, with no more than two techs per day. 
  • In May the Techs hit it out of the park with no Document Detention attendees 
  • The Service Coordinator continues to check Kim Drumm’s “Team Hours Worked This Week” widget each day. 
  • The Owner is expecting old habits to creep back in, but so far, so good. 

How to Make Document Detention Work 

A key component of making Document Detention work is the walk to the principal’s officeHaving a Support Team Lead, Coordinator, or Manager inform the Tech that they have been flagged for Document Detention and are expected to report to the Owner who is waiting for them is the reminder they need to change their habits 

Alas, calling them professionals should have been the trick, as it calls them to a higher level of performance. But, somewhere along the way, doing your job as a professional and Real-Time Time Entry seemed to disconnect. 

One other note, while the Support Team member throwing the flag is the bad cop, the owner gets to play good cop, putting their arms around the Tech and encouraging them to do their job in a more professional way. 

I want to know your thoughts – tell me what you think of Document Detention and if you see it as a realistic process at your IT MSP.  


Unshackled: Guiding MSPs to Freedom from Service Delivery Issues to Grow the Company starts with a FREE PSA Self-Evaluation.

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