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January 18, 2022
April 12, 2022
Performance

22 ways MSSPs can increase their team’s productivity

The burden of responsibility for MSSPs is overwhelming. Fortunately, here's how you can increase your team's productivity.

~ 0 min read

For those working in cybersecurity, there are simply not enough hours in the day to get the job done. Scans can identify thousands of new vulnerabilities every day and with so much time required to prioritise them, there’s little left over for remediation. For MSSPs with multiple clients all facing a growing number of new vulnerabilities each day, the burden of responsibility is overwhelming. Wouldn’t it be great if there were ways to increase your team’s productivity? Fortunately, there are.

1. Make security everyone’s responsibility

Security isn’t something that only a few individuals should be concerned with; instead, it should involve every single person in the company to the best of their abilities. As an MSSP, it’s your responsibility to help your client contact ensure their workforce is taking security seriously. Their developers should be encrypting communications, their marketers should be writing safe emails and their admins should know what happens on their watch. If you make security everyone’s responsibility, then there won’t be a single person who lets something slip between the cracks or takes shortcuts that create vulnerabilities.

2. Outsource

As an MSSP, the work has already been outsourced but that doesn’t mean there aren’t elements of the project that can’t be passed on again to another provider. Whether it’s for dedicated security experts or general labourers, there are thousands of people out there who would happily earn a lot more than they currently do, if only given the opportunity. Companies like HackerOne provide opportunities for ethical hackers to make money by finding vulnerabilities on client systems; while companies like Upwork enable you to hire as many people as you need at a moment’s notice.

If everyone’s struggling to keep up with their workload and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight, hiring a freelancer or part-time worker that can help out for a short period of time could help your team’s productivity and wellbeing.

3. Automate time-consuming yet crucial tasks

Vulnerability prioritisation is a crucial element of any successful vulnerability management program but it can take teams as many as four days to sort through the data from each new scan.

Don’t let your team waste another minute on manual triage. Automate the process with RankedRight and help your team put their focus on more pressing matters.

4. Delegate, delete or defer less important tasks

While RankedRight will effortlessly prioritise all of your clients’ vulnerabilities so you know which to tackle and which to defer, what will your team do about the rest of their workload?

With so much on their plate, even the most important tasks will be ignored from time to time. That’s why it’s a good idea to delegate any less important tasks that might come up – or delete them altogether if they’re not crucial – thereby treating the entire workload as if it were RankedRight-led.

5. Eliminate distractions

These days, everyone seems addicted to one device or another. Some can’t make it through the day without checking Facebook; others are constantly updating their Twitter status; and there are even those who need complete silence to concentrate. By taking the time to understand why your employees need different things, you can tailor your office environment accordingly and eliminate distractions that prevent them from doing their best work.

6. Invest in productivity tools

We all know that distractions and procrastination are productivity killers but methods such as the pomodoro technique can help. Tools such as Pomofocus use this technique to split up work into short, measurable intervals with frequent breaks in between. By using this strategy for even just a few minutes every hour or two, your team should be able to focus on the task at hand and get things done that much faster.

7. Invest in collaboration and communication tools

Collaboration and communication are two of the most important aspects of any business, which is why they’re worth investing in. Tools such as Slack and Asana allow team members to communicate with each other seamlessly and the more information your team shares, the better their workflow will be as a whole.

No one likes working by themselves, especially when they’re stuck doing the same old thing day-in and day-out. By facilitating brainstorm sessions – even virtual ones – you could get your team using their brains in different ways which should help them to work more effectively.

8. Make sure everyone has equal access to resources

As we learned in 2020 when the world moved to remote working, it’s critical that your employees have access to the platforms and systems wherever they are. We may be moving to hybrid of office and home working but make sure everyone has equal access to the tools and resources they need in order to do their job quickly and effectively – otherwise, you might run into some major issues down the line.

9. Set deadlines

Asking people to complete tasks without setting an end-point is just asking for trouble. Instead of waiting until it’s too late, set weekly or even daily deadlines for tasks to get done. This way, you can make sure that everything your team does is included in a manageable schedule while also leaving enough room in case of an attack on a client’s network.

10. Reduce the number of meetings

Meetings are necessary to a certain extent, particularly when you have clients to report to, but the more you hold them, the less productive your team will become.

That’s because meetings take away from time that could be spent actually working – and they’re likely to end up as either a way for people to avoid work or an excuse not to do any at all. Hold fewer meetings, and you’ll see a difference in how your team feels and what they accomplish.

11. Improve meeting efficiency

Of the meetings you can’t get rid of, try to make them as effective as possible. How? Set a clear agenda that is shared in advance with attendees. This way, there won’t be any surprises in the meeting and it will allow people to prepare thoughts and ideas, which in turn may mean you’ll actually get more accomplished during your hour together.

12. Consider décor

A stressed-out employee isn’t going to perform as well as they could, which is why your office space matters just as much as anything else. Pay attention to the setup you have in place and change things up periodically: office chairs and desks can be swapped out for something more comfortable, while a change in wall colour or new art on the walls can have a calming effect which should increase productivity.

13. Encourage continued remote working

Many people are on the fence about whether it’s better to work from home or the office but the general consensus is a quiet environment is best. Now that your business has the capabilities for remote working, why not let your team take a laptop and go wherever they feel most comfortable to get their work done? You might be surprised by what they can accomplish in a few quiet hours.

14. Keep track of time

It’s easy for employees who work from home to forget just how long they’ve spent working on a particular task – which is why it’s so important to keep track of time as well as data. The best way to do this is by using a tool such as RescueTime that will automatically track the amount of time your employees spend on different projects and tasks. This will not only provide insight into what they’re working on at any given moment but also let you know how much time each individual team member spends on a particular task or project. You can then use this data to measure changes over time and identify any strengths or weaknesses in the team.

15. Stick to a schedule

One of the best ways to boost productivity in your office – whether at home or otherwise – is by sticking to a schedule that’s easy to follow and understand. That means no endless meetings, no excuses for being late, and lots of opportunity for uninterrupted work time. It might be tough at first, but it’ll make everyone’s life easier in the long-term – which means less stress, more productivity, and more opportunities for success.

16. Allow for play

All work and no play makes everyone a grumpy employee. Or in the case of cybersecurity, it leads to burnout. Make sure your team carves out some time to recharge their batteries or else they’ll run empty (and nothing will get done).

17. Take your team out to lunch

Sitting in front of a screen all day, every day; especially when there are no end of vulnerabilities to address is very demotivating. Getting some fresh air and sunshine will do your team good, and they’ll come back to work re-energised and ready to focus on tasks.

18. Keep staff turnover low

When a team member leaves, productivity can take a dive. Not only will it take time to find a replacement (particularly given the current cybersecurity skills shortage) but new employees can take months to get up to speed on work. Make the effort to keep your staff engaged and committed to your company through training, performance management and recognition and you should keep productivity at a high level.

19. Invest in skills development

Training ensures that everyone is ready to take on the challenges that come their way, which means that they’re more likely to feel confident about their abilities than ever before. Look at the skills gaps within your team to identify the best training courses to offer and you’ll increase productivity levels in no time.

20. Make sure you’re playing to your team’s strengths

A great way to increase productivity levels is to assign tasks according to your team’s individual capabilities and strengths. Sure, you will have done this to some extent when appointing your team but if you drill down further you could find specific skills in organisation, team management, analysis and so on. Every task within your clients’ cyber programs will require different levels of these skills so make sure you delegate responsibilities accordingly and it could get the work done more quickly (and effectively).

21. Provide incentives for increased productivity

To drive workplace productivity, why not implement some sort of clever incentive system that rewards everyone for their hard work? Whether this takes the form of time off, money towards a meal out, or points to redeem in the company canteen, incentives can go a long way in helping to boost employee morale and productivity levels.

22. Help foster a culture of accountability

It’s easy for individuals to feel complacent particularly in a big team. This often leads them to forget about how important accountability is. By fostering a culture of accountability, where everyone works towards the same goal and holds each other accountable for their actions every step of the way, you should see everyone pulling their weight.

We hope that many of these suggestions for increasing productivity can be applied in your MSP business. One of the most effective of those listed above is to automate the vulnerability prioritisation process. Sign up for a demo with RankedRight to see how easy it is to do.

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