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Building Repeatable Decision-Making Processes

Growing an MSP isn’t just about doing IT things for other businesses. It’s about taking care of your family and funding your retirement. That means, whether you’re in the early stages or you’ve been around a while, you have to focus on growth. One truth about exiting a business is that the business is worth a lot more if it’s not dependent on one or two key people – especially if the key people in question are the ones who want to exit.

What this means is simple. Everything that you do, all that knowledge and experience, has to be transferred to other people in your business. The good news is that the sooner you start this process, the better your business is going to run even if you’re not really thinking about exit. You can document a lot of processes, and show people who to use software, but what about the soft skills? What about decision making?

Understand Your Own Decision-Making Processes

Most of us seldom meditate on how we think. But if you’re thinking that kind of thing is a bit fluffy, the good news is that it’s actually not. Making decisions is just another process that can be broken down and understood.

First, there are common decision-making methods that we all lean on. We do this because we simply do not have the time to do a full, rational evaluation of the issue for every decision that we make. Heuristics provide us with natural shortcuts. Knowing which decision-making heuristics you rely on the most will help you understand your decision-making process better.

Second, there are common pitfalls to making decisions. These are the biases and other issues that we bring into the process. Once you can spot yourself falling into these traps, it becomes much easier to avoid them in the future.

Teach Your Decision-Making Processes

By this point, you've been a student of decision making. Now it's time to become the teacher.

Getting to understand your processes will help you not just to codify them, but to improve them. At this point, however, they are still your decision-making processes, not somebody else’s. But teaching your staff to make decisions your way is easier when you understand what your way actually is, and have written it down.

From there, training is largely how you’d train somebody on anything. Being able to understand how you do it, walk through some scenarios with the person, will go a long way. You’ll also know more about their decision-making processes from having analyzed yourself. Instead of having a vague sense that they aren’t thinking something through correctly, you’ll be able to identify why you think that person isn’t thinking it through.

Focus on the Data

Data-driven decision making is becoming the norm, and so another important consideration here is to think about the data you’re using. Bad data leads to bad decisions, but good data can support great decision making. Thus, understanding where data is coming from, whether it is clean or not, is the final aspect when it comes to improving your decision making. 

Gradient Tidy can help with keeping your PSA data clean. You can watch a quick demo here and see what we mean:

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