MSP Management Roles, Responsibilities, & Barriers to Efficiency I of V

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An MSP’s Freedom from Service Delivery Issues requires 4 or 5 Service Delivery Management Roles to be operating successfullyEach role has unique responsibilities that must be executed properly in order for the Service Delivery Team to be fully functional 

Unfortunately, in our global world, each of these roles have unique Shackles that must be addressed for the person in the role to be able to do their job effectively.  

Just What Shackles Are There? 

The first Shackle is having a clear job description for each role with reasonable expectations that can be measured and monitored 

As Deming would get on his soapbox and say: 

Eighty-five percent of the reasons for failure are deficiencies in the systems and process rather than the employee. The role of management is to change the process rather than badgering individuals to do better. 

Never has this statement been truer than in our MSP industryWe are all here because we are very passionate about helping others and love the technology – or in my case, hate it so much that I am committed to finding a way to make it work properly. 

Each of the 45 Service Delivery Roles that are essential to every MSP needs clearly defined responsibilities with equally defined expectations that can be measured and monitored 

These roles are the: 

  • Service Coordinator 
  • Service Manager 
  • Operations Manager 
  • Owner 
  • (Optional) Project Manager 

Service Coordinator: 

A Service Coordinator’s core responsibility is to manage all open tickets and shepherd them from New to CompleteThey need to always know how many open tickets there are, the workload across all Technicians / Engineers, where the Techs are and what they are working on, and most importantly – which ones need intervention to meet Customers’ expectations. 

If a Service Coordinator can pull this off, they will naturally become the hub of the company and the Customers’ goto personThey will also build trust in the Service Delivery Team so everyone else can do their jobWe see too much time being spent by Techs, Service Managers, Operation Managers, Project Managers, and Owners focusing on open tickets and not their underdefined jobs. 

So, what are the unique shackles for a Service Coordinator? 

  • Not knowing how many open tickets there are 
  • Having no idea where the Techs are, what they are working on, or what their workload is 

Note: Workload does not mean how many tickets they haveAs we have said before, not all tickets are created equalA project ticket has as much workload in it as 32 incident ticketsThe difference is that a Tech with 32 incident tickets will have a workload due today somewhere between 16 and 48 hours, where the Project Engineer will only have 6 hours due today. 

  • Which tickets need Service Coordinator intervention. See this article for more insight: 

So, what is the solution? And once the role is clearly definedhow do you measure and monitor the expectations?  

The answer has two partsTools and Collaboration. 


Whereas the Techs need 3 widgets to inform them of what to work on next and awareness of what to work on today, the Service Coordinator needs 3 dashboards which we laid out in the unshackled eBook and presented in the Unshackled webinar. 


It makes sense that the Team needs to work together and collaborate in order for Service Delivery to be fully functional 

For the Techs, they need to communicate what they are working on, what was accomplished, next steps, and what type of work they didIn the case of the Service Coordinator, what they are working on is what they need to knowThis is done by the Techs following the Customer-Facing Communications Protocol and keeping statuses up to date so internal and external stakeholders know what they are working on 

Of course, for the Techs to be able to do this, the Operations Manager needs to have the Customers’ Cradle to Grave experience journey mapped and the Autotask PSA tool configured to support that journey. 

service manager responsibilities

When the Service Coordinator’s job becomes overwhelming   

In other words, when the ticket backlog is growing out of control, the Service Coordinator needs the Service Manager and Operations Manager to step in and assist 

The Service Manager needs to pull the Team together and at some point, in the week or month, focus on reducing the ticket backlogThe Operations Manager needs to look at the Root Cause of the Backlog growing in the first place 

And from our 22+ years of Service Delivery experience leveraging the Autotask software, it is because we are forcing square pegs into round holesWe see too many MSPs afraid of or not knowing how to schedule tickets, and not all tickets fit in a queue or widgetIt is these tickets that are not getting done and causing the backlog in the first place  

What can an Owner do to collaborate with a Service Coordinator?   

This might surprise you, but one of the key discussions in the Autotask/Datto RMM Ask the Expert calls was how to get the Owner to leave Service Delivery alone and go sell something? 

In other words, how do you get the Customer to quit calling the owner when they have a service delivery issue?  

How do you keep the Owner from taking the Customers side in every situation?   

How do you get the Owner to quit worrying about tickets?   

The answer is TRUST 

How do we know? Because we have 22+ years of MSP Service Delivery Coordinator/Manager experience on staff, and Autotask System Administration experience. Which is another way of saying we have been there and done that, and we know how to leverage the Autotask software to Resolve Service Delivery Issues. 

P.S. Message me for the #1 reason, as I would be happy to talk with you about it.  


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