There are times when you simply need the high-level picture, such as starting a project with an environment that you don’t know well, or when a client calls in a panic saying that all systems are down. Maybe you need to make an infrastructure change and need a business contact, or maybe you want an update on an onboarding project. This is where a site summary is invaluable, and gives your team a great chance to make a good impression with your client.
Included in IT Glue™ is a site summary asset design that brings together some very important information in a way that is easy to read. It will be completed for each separate physical site in any organization. The recorded information is split into 4 sections:
The type of agreement that you have with this client (e.g. managed services or project only) and the current relationship status is very powerful information for your support team. They will instantly know whether a new call is within the scope of the agreement, and know that if the client relationship is in need of a little attention, a little extra care can be taken as they interact over a specific issue.
Recording known issues for your clients is vital for your professional approach. There could be problems with a specific piece of software, or the anti-spam solution is currently under review, or a satellite site is struggling with their Internet connection. Not only can your team avoid wasting large amounts of time troubleshooting systems that are already known to be underperforming, but they will look much more professional as they communicate awareness of an issue, and the related action plan.
Note, once your team is in the habit of using this free-form text field, you may consider creating a flexible asset to specifically record known issues. This basic implementation in the site summary is a great place to start.
Location and people
Your site visits will go smoothly if you link location information, detail any requirements for “out-of-hours access”, parking, or navigation challenges. This is where IT Glue on your phone is a great tool!
Have you ever wasted 35 minutes researching who you need to speak to when you need to achieve a task on a client site? This section is designed to remove that 35 minutes of waste from your week. When authorization or purchasing is required, it is vital to locate those decision makers accurately and efficiently. Fields can be tagged with more than one contact, so you can move down the list if the first contact is unavailable.
Note, if you have not designed a client-signable form to authorize changes to these contacts, now would be a good moment! Attach the completed form to this document in IT Glue, and ensure that you write up a short SOP for your team to gather the information if it’s not up-to-date.
Details about your team — account managers, subject matter experts, project leads — can be captured here. Doing so cuts down the amount of “shoulder tapping” that can happen when someone doesn’t know who to talk to internally about a required client decision.
If you have a well-designed onboarding process, this area can be very useful to communicate with your team the phase of the project and the expected “go live” date. A great option is to include the contents of these fields in the title of the document. In the Flexible Asset design, choose “Use for title”.
The site summary asset is worth spending some time on designing for your workflow and your team. Use the included design as a starting point, but I would expect to see it customized for every IT Glue partner.
Here are some tips when considering customization:
- Do not repeat or link information that can already be summarized by an existing flexible asset. For example, you have LAN documents for each site, but they are very easily found by clicking LAN in the sidebar. They are not needed in the site summary.
- Ask for input from every function of your MSP: Tech Support, Project, Sales, Finance. Ask the question, “If you had never worked with this client before, what information do you need quickly at a glance?”
- Use select boxes in your design to drive standardization.
- Start simple. Your team will complete the information quickly and keep it up to date as they work with it. It’s always possible to add fields as you discover extra items to record.
No details about an asset in IT Glue would be complete without considering related items. Liberal use of this powerful feature dramatically cuts search time, therefore releasing time for your team. The site summary asset is one that is likely to be referenced from key process documents. When creating assets and documents in IT Glue, consider if linking back to the site summary will be effective. Any of the sections above could be relevant to process documents. For instance, account setup procedures require authorization, system upgrades require out of hours access, and new workstation setup requires purchasing authority.