Guess the Two Things Shackling an MSPs IT Service Manager

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Data and Accountability are the two things that Shackle a Service Manager and keep them from doing their job effectively.  

Bright Gauge released a blog article calling for 70 KPIs every MSP needs to trackDatto put out their 10 KPIs every MSP should be following 

The problem is that neither told us where the data comes from – or how to configure the software to produce the data in the first place 

And for a Service Manager, a KPI is only any good if it is applied to the Service Delivery Team’s performance 

Think about it: knowing that a properly configured SLA reveals the Service Delivery Team is only meeting the Contractual obligations 63% of the time does not in itself improve the Customers Experience 

Even worse is when a non-contract SLA reveals non-Contract Customers are receiving better service than the Managed Service Customers and nothing changes 

So, what good is the KPI? 

service managers responsibilities

Accountability is Key at the MSP 

This is where the second Shackle comes in, AccountabilityIt takes the Owner holding the Service Manager accountable to actually improve the KPIs to within an acceptable range 

And that range is not SLAs below 63%, Resource Utilization around 50%, Mean Time to Resolve at 9+ days, or a Reactive Hours per Endpoint above .35 

These numbers are not made up, but the typical numbers we see when first doing a PSA Configuration Evaluation for your average Managed Service Provider. 

The Service Manager must hold the Service Coordinator accountable for three key things: 

  1. Managing all open tickets 
  2. Knowing where all the Techs are what they are actively working on 
  3. Which tickets need intervention 

It also requires the Service Manager to hold the Techs accountable. This is where the major breakdown occurs 


  1. Techs are the billable resources that bring in the revenue or support the MSP’s economic engine MRR. 
  2. Most Service Managers do not enjoy confrontation. Besides, they used to be Techs, so they get it, they know when the Team is underperformingthey just do not know what to do about it. 

So there you have it, Data and Accountability. 

Now we need to know: what is the ideal solution?   

For Service Coordinators in last week’s article, it was Tools and CollaborationFor Service Managers, it is leveraging the Autotask PSA software and mining the data for information 

Now on the surface, you would think this is one and the same, but they are notAs Andy Kennedy from Congition360 says “No PSA comes pre-configured”Which means in order to get the data, you need to configure the tool to provide it.  

The process of configuring the Autotask PSA software for use takes anywhere from 24 business hours to 6 months 

Why such a broad delta?   

It is like the sign in an automobile repair shop: 

  • $50 USD per hour if you leave the car 
  • $125 USD per hour if you watch 
  • $250 USD if you help 

Except in this case, you want to pay the $250 USD per hour, because it is more important that you know how and why the PSA software is configured the way it is than just to get’r done (which is in our nature and how we respond to Customers’ requests). 

In other words, the changes only take 24 hours to make, but for the Techs to know what is expected, for the Service Coordinators to do their job, and for the Service Manager to know how the Team is performing, it takes time 

Couple this with the fact that each MSP operates differently and has a different philosophy of how to deliver the best Service to the CustomerIt is not good business to say “just do it our way, as one CEO of a PSA software company said to his IT Nation. 

Once an MSP has gone through the pain of change and invested in improving the Tools the Company runs on, mining the data does not come easily 

On one hand, there are the canned reports written by a software company that takes great pride in their software but is clueless as to how an MSP operates beyond a few case studiesYou could export copies of the database once or twice a day and use an SQL report writer to mine the data, but this sounds expensive both in setting up, continued access to the dataand that SQL programmer’s salary 

Thank goodness Autotask gives us an in-between Live Report writer, which provides an Autotask System Administrator access to most of the data without knowing SQL writing 

The Live Report designer software has guard rails, protecting the Live Report writer from writing reports between database tables with no natural linkageIn other words, avoiding the frustration of seeing “No Data” and not knowing why. 

Great, we take six months to post-configure the Autotask Software, at the same time we take six months to learn how to write Live Reports (or contract with someone who knows how to write reports), but what reports do we need?   

For a Service Manager to be empowered with the knowledge they need to manage the Service Delivery Team and hold them Accountable, here is the list of KPI performance reports they needThe list comes in three groups: 

The Necessary KPI Performance Reports 

Service Coordinator Performance: 

  • Priority Distribution Report (PDR) 
  • Service Delivery Forecast (SDF) 
  • Service Level Agreement Performance Report (SLA) 
  • SLA Detail Report 
  • Project Availability Report (PAR) 

Labor Profitability Performance: 

  • Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR) 
  • MTTR Detail Report 
  • Advanced Resource Utilization Weekly Report (ARU) 
  • Reactive Hours per Endpoint per Month (RHEM) 
  • Labor Profitability Report (LPR) 

Tech Performance: 

  • Real-Time Entry Report (RTTE) 
  • Reopen Rate Report (RRR) 
  • Escalation Rate Report (ERR) 
  • First Call Resolution (FCR) 

With this information in hand and training on how to apply the information to the Service Delivery Operation, the Service Manager is now capable of meeting the Owner’s expectation 

The beauty of having this data is that holding the Team accountable is now much easierRather than me against you, the conversation is the “Survey Says, now let me help you to improve the data. 

I hear you asking what is the benefit of making all these improvements 

Here are some numbers for you: For a 6 Tech shop, with 120 Customers of which 80 are Managed Service Customers, and 1.5 ARR, the bottom-line number is $386,400 USD per Year without hiring a Tech or adding another Customer. 

How do we know? Because we have 22+ years of MSP Service Delivery Coordinator/Manager experience on staff, and 22+ years 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. 

Datto | KPIs

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