When it comes to interacting with managed IT service providers, communication is key. In fact, many IT projects fail when there is a lack of communication. When you are tasked with successfully completing a project, it is important to be clear about your goals and any issues you may have when talking to your service provider. With that said, it is also critical that you listen to their input as well to get the most out of their IT services. A 2013 study done by the Project Management Institute found that of every $1 billion spent on a project, $75 million is put at risk by poor communications. If you are not alarmed by that number, let us make this clear: that is a lot of money. To avoid the major losses associated with ineffective communication, we have laid out four steps to lead you to better exchanges and interactions between you and your IT service provider.
1. Close the Communications Gap
This step entails ensuring that your service provider is on the same page as you. They should know exactly what your goals, budgets, plans, and projects are before they begin to assist your business at all. This can help to guarantee that your needs are met in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible. The best way to tackle this step is to set aside time to reflect on where your business is currently at versus where you want it to be in the future. This can help you to see where improvements could be made to reach your goals. These improvements, then, should be shared with your MSP so that appropriate resolutions can be formed.
2. Tailor Communications to Fit Your Audience
Not all stakeholders are equal. While it is important for everyone to understand the main goals of a project, different stakeholders care about different things. Not everyone needs to know the ultra-specific details of a project. Instead, you should step back and assess the needs of each group and then communicate those needs to your MSP. Managed IT service providers will then be able to collectively understand the overall goals of the project.
3. The Planning Stage of Project Management is Critical
Planning is an essential part of managing any project, and it becomes particularly important when it comes to effective communication. By planning, you are giving your service provider a guide to how you want things to happen and when you want them to happen. This gives both you and your MSP a reference point throughout the project and can help to clarify timelines and expectations.
4. Standardize Your Communication Practices
Standardizing your communications practices can work wonders for your business. Some effective practices could include using a collaboration tool or email to keep everyone updated on changes or roadblocks to the project or providing an easily accessible platform (like the cloud) for project-related files to everyone involved in the process (including your MSP).
Here at TARC, we are happy to explain our processes and answer any questions you may have using normal language (that’s right – no geek speak!). We understand that communication is essential in achieving your goals, and we are here to help. Check out the 7 things we do better than the competition here, and consider contacting us today to see the TARC difference.