Deep down, most of you know that you need to have high-quality documentation. You’ll never remember everything, and you know that where you write it down matters, so having structured documentation is essential for the efficient function of any IT department. Seems pretty obvious, really. So why is it so hard to get your team to document?
Being a documentation company, we’re quite curious about the reactions that companies – and techs in particular – have to our product. The range is quite stunning, really. We hear stories about companies cheering when the boss announces that they’ve signed up for IT Glue. But we also hear stories about people who get IT Glue and practically have to beg their techs to document. So what’s the difference? Why does one team get it right away, and one team not get it at all?
The first thing we’ve found is that there needs to be a sense of urgency. You probably don’t read a lot of academic journals about organizational change, but if you did, you’d notice this theme of urgency comes up a lot. Inertia is a powerful force, so in order to get your team to change their habits, you need to create a sense of urgency. If the business is floundering, this might be easy. If your techs are absolutely drowning, burning out and miserable, this should be pretty straightforward.
But what if you’re not struggling? What if you’re good, but you want to be great? You need to find that urgency somewhere. Carrot or stick, whatever works for you. If the time savings doesn’t motivate, you might need to make documentation part of the job description. If you treat documentation like an afterthought, your techs probably will, too. Getting your entire team working to a singular objective starts with leadership setting documentation as a key priority, and putting metrics targets to that.
A lot of our partners recommend gamification. IT Glue has an in-house tool for this, but apps like CrewHu can also play an important role in creating a rewards system for documentation. This works in line with the chart within IT Glue that shows the status of the documentation for each client organization.
Set Aside Time
Lastly, you must set aside time. Not occasional time, like you’ll just catch up over the holidays sort of thing. That’s like deciding to get fit by signing up for a marathon next week. It just doesn’t work like that.
Set aside a small amount of time each day to work on documentation. If you’re just getting started, a lot of our partners have found that putting in a weekend to document their biggest clients goes a long way because once you get started, the benefits become all the more obvious. But building a small amount of time to document every day allows it to become part of your team’s rhythm, then a habit, then soon enough just something you do without thinking about it.
Changing habits isn’t always easy, and you might need to learn some new motivational tricks. But ultimately, whether you want to provide incentives or gamification to change your team’s view of documentation, or if you just need to lay down the law with people who aren’t buying in, it’s important to have a plan to change your team’s minds and habits, and then stick with that plan, because it might not be easy. But in the long run, it will work, and it will be worth it. For everybody.
Because in 2019, in a hypercompetitive MSP market, it’s document or die.
To find out how IT Glue helps your team leverage the full power of documentation, sign up for a demo.
IT Glue is an award-winning documentation platform that allows for efficient storage and retrieval of all the documentation you need to help your MSP run better. By integrating PSA and RMM data, we can help increase your efficiency, and reduce onboarding times by even more. By eliminating wasted time from your business, IT Glue gives you more time to focus on what matters – growing your business.