An MSP company has unique management woes. Many MSPs develop from startups built in a garage by someone who has no management experience whatever, and now must act as CEO over a team of a dozen; all of whom are equally independent and inexperienced with professional tech responsibility. Challenges will assail such an individual in a way that may be likened to trial by fire. They’re going to sink or swim. This isn’t the only unique leadership challenge your MSP will likely have to deal with.
As an MSP, you’ll have competitors, you’ll have technology issues, you’ll have clients that don’t understand what you’re doing and become needlessly irate–the list goes on. Generally, the majority of your issues are going to fall under these three categories:
- Personnel and clients conflict resolution
- Contending with teams that have no unity
- Keeping personnel focused on core operational goals
Personnel and Clients Conflict Resolution
An MSP company will have situations where leaders must have tough conversations. Personnel are going to have issues with one another, clients are going to get angry about something they don’t understand nearly so well as they feel they do. A good MSP leader needs to learn how to avoid being reactionary.
People get caught up in their own little miniature universes. Those in tech leadership should recognize this and think ahead of both clients and employees by keeping the bigger picture foremost. Sometimes you’ve got to learn to let clients vent, sometimes you’ve got to put an employee with a different internal team. The key to these conversations is listening carefully, and proceeding based on data rather than emotion.
Contending with Teams That Have No Unity
Sometimes, you’ve got a sales team and a marketing team that are at odds with one another owing to a communication issue. For example, there’s a promotion that marketing is still selling prospects, even though said promotion has ended, and sales can no longer provide it on conversion.
Accordingly, some conversions are lost, some commissions are reduced, and some feelings are hurt. Engineering departments and quality analysis may have some issues–there are a lot of reasons tech teams may clash. Be prepared to offer solutions, and nip toxic contentions in the bud.
Keeping Personnel Focused on Core Operational Goals
Tech professionals tend to be passionate, but that passion is apt to be directed toward their preferences. This means they may not be working toward core goals of your MSP. Maintaining employee focus is a challenge anywhere, but in tech, it’s an employee’s market, especially if they’re good workers. Find creative means of incentivization toward core prerogatives.
Managing MSP Leadership Challenges
An MSP company that understands challenges it will contend with should be better enabled to overcome them. Personnel distraction and contention are big issues, as is conflict resolution between clients and personnel. Learn how to avoid being reactionary, proceed from data, incentivize employees, and shuffle workers to the right teams as necessary.