Templates can help MSPs save time, improve customer service, and work smarter.
Every time you sell a managed service to a client, you have to calculate the logistics of who will do what when. Whether the customer signs a cybersecurity contract or wants a cloud migration, patch management, or anything you offer, ensuring that you make promises you can keep and deliver everything you promise is essential to keeping customers happy.
But you don’t have to reinvent the work plan each time.
Perfect Project’s templates let you capture that plan and use it every time any customer buys that product from you. They help you save time, hit the ground running with every new sale, improve the way you communicate with customers, and streamline your work systems.
Save planning time
Creating a project is, for the person who does it, a creative endeavor that takes attention to detail, deep thought, experience, skill – and time. How many hours will a solution architect spend with the client? What hardware needs to be delivered before the server team can start? If a telephony upgrade takes three hours, how many days do you need to allow the team to get that done?
A project is made up of dozens – or hundreds – of decisions like this. Each decision requires expertise, experience, and the ability to estimate complexity. But many of those decisions and calculations are the same for each product you sell. Perhaps only the start date and the team working on the service will change.
So, when you design the workflow for an implementation or migration, Perfect Project lets you save it as a template, so you don’t have to keep reinventing the plan. Turning a plan into a template takes only a second.
Hit the ground running
Creating a plan requires that someone with skill and experience imagine every step, calculate how long each will take, and put them in order. Not everyone on your team knows the work well enough to do that.
A template lets you capture that institutional knowledge, and all those informed decisions, so that other people can use them, freeing you – or that skilled planner – to do more important things and giving another team member a framework to start with.
The act of saving a template – stripped of the details, with a name like “cloud migration” or “server replacement” – lets you, the sales team, or someone on your help desk start the next project with a plan in place.
For example, instead of simply accepting the work and letting the customer dictate the timeline – and hope for the best on delivery – you can pull up a template, name it something specific to the client, and hit the ground running.
Improve communication with clients
A significant benefit of starting every job with a project template is that it puts you in a better position to know if you are promising something you can deliver.
When a client asks for, say, a cloud migration, you can pull up a project template, establish your start date, choose team members to work on it, and see – in a few seconds – a projected finish date.
Perfect Project knows what other projects your teams are working on and is connected to their calendars. So, adding a team to the job gives you an instant, accurate, real-time estimate of their availability. The template knows every step the service requires and how long each will take.
It only takes Perfect Project seconds to do the calculations, but it uses this real and current data to reach its conclusion. So that finish date is one you can believe in.
If you accept the date it suggests, you can expect the project – at least until something changes or delays occur – to happen by that date.
If the customer has another date in mind for wrapping up the migration, you can quickly see if it is feasible simply by changing the go live date.
When you change that date to something that isn’t possible, the RPAX score drops and Perfect Project flags the problems that the new date caused so you have detailed insight into why you can’t promise it. It will also help you look at options – suggesting that you shorten durations, run tasks simultaneously, or unburden a resource with a time conflict – to help you accommodate the customer.
If there isn’t enough wiggle room to promise the customer you will be done by the date they want, you have the intelligence to tell them that with certainty and to suggest the soonest date your team can, reasonably, make.
If the client requests several services, you can still do all of this by adding template modules together to create a realistic work plan for the whole endeavor. To do this, you must first create templates for all the parts – integration, server installation, migration, etc. Then when a client requests an array of services, simply choose the pieces from a list and set which pieces are dependent on others. Perfect Project will calculate the duration for the entire order.
The template allows you to have an informed conversation, immediately, with clients and work out a schedule that won’t cause an emergency for your team down the road or lead you to make promises to customers that you can’t realistically keep.
Streamline work systems
When a project is completed, there is usually a moment where you recognize that mistakes were made. Perhaps you exceeded the budget because someone had to work long hours or because you underestimated how long an equipment delivery would take and people worked under capacity while they waited.
Maybe the mistakes were small. Perhaps you estimated that a task would take two hours and it took six or you allotted two days for the customer to return paperwork and had to chase them for it a week later. Maybe you learned that you could do two phases simultaneously instead of consecutively and shave a few days off the timeline.
A postmortem is a great time to make changes to your template based on lessons learned. Change the time estimate, schedule those two phases to run simultaneously, or update the dependencies.
The next time a customer requests this service, you will have an even better plan. And your work processes will benefit from every lesson you learn.
Perfect Project’s ability to save templates for your most repeated services helps you work smarter and more efficiently. It also prevents disasters, fire drills, and work emergencies that cause your people to work overtime. You can know sooner and more accurately how much time you will need to complete the work and what promises you can make.
Want to see Perfect Project templates in action? Schedule a demo today.