My daughter is five, and lately we’ve been reading this really awesome series of books about a girl named Clementine. Clementine is a very smart kid, she has an interesting way of seeing the world, she’s super spunky…and she has a very hard time making decisions. Clementine says choosing something isn’t hard, it’s not-choosing all the other options that’s hard.

She’s kind of got a point there. And so when my guest for today’s show reached out to talk about the weighted decision matrix and how to make logical, data-backed decisions, I knew this was something I wanted to talk about on the show.

Caleb Christopher is the founder and president of Infosec Consulting and he’s going to walk us through what a weighted decision matrix is, how to use it in your MSP, and how it helps you make confident decisions with full buy-in from your team. No more regrets over what you didn’t choose.

Listen here


But first, our 1 Thing segment, where we hear from an MSP about 1 thing that’s made a difference in their business. Today we have Nathan Rizzo from Rx Technology.

1 Thing (#MSP1T)

[01:32] Rx Technology is an MSP. So Nathan says what they really are is a customer service company in the IT business. They focus on customer service and their help desk. The first metric they talk about during employee reviews is the customer satisfaction survey.

[02:26] Service doesn’t just stop with external users. They also look for colleague satisfaction.

[02:42] They use tools like BrightGauge to track their metrics and Simplesat to simplify customer surveys.

[03:53] They used to be focused on profit as they main metric, but they saw a lot of customer and employee turnover.

[04:17] Once they shifted to focus on customer service aspect, profit increased anyway. All of their metrics improved.

What’s your 1 Thing? What idea, strategy, tool, book, process, thing made a real difference to your MSP career or business. Put another way, let’s say a new MSP walked up to you at conference and said, “I’m just getting started in this space. What advice can you give me? What’s worked for you?” and you can only tell them 1 thing. What would that 1 thing be?

Tell us in a voice memo and email the recording to [email protected]. Not only could you be podcast-famous by being featured on the show, I’ll also send you a Frankly MSP t-shirt. They’re pretty cool and I want to give them away!

How to Make Decisions the Matrix Way: Interview with Caleb Christopher

Caleb Christopher, Infosec Consulting
Caleb Christopher, formerly of Infosec Consulting

[05:49] A weighted decision matrix is a spreadsheet-based calculator that helps you make an important choice from several options. It puts a score at the top so you can make the best choice out of several good options.

[06:31] Caleb was looking for a SOC as a service, a 24/7 security operation center to supplement his managed service practice. He decided to put all the companies he was considering across the top and then on the left he started listing what factors were important to his company.

[07:27] He also added a weight factor for all of the options he was considering. Then he scored each company on what he cared about.

[08:03] He had a scoring scale of one to three and a multiplier of one to three. The lowest score possible was zero and the highest was nine.

[08:38] This gave him an objective number to compare the options, apples to apples.

[09:27] All stakeholders were involved including sales, support, and delivery. Caleb owned the whole process and broke everything down and created the matrix.

[10:53] People were really pleased that they got to weigh in on the decision process.

[11:44] The most important part is to group similar things and make sure you have consensus from all stakeholders.

[13:52] At the very end, Caleb sent each vendor company a redacted copy of the matrix that showed their score and how they ranked for his business. Some of the vendors with lower scores peppered Caleb with more questions than he had time to deal with.

[14:38] The winner of the analysis, who won by a landslide, thought the process was fantastic. They also asked Caleb to participate in a case study.

[15:11] He also used the matrix to narrow down phone system choice. He was surprised to find out who came out on top.

[16:26] The matrix is an interesting blend of subjectivity and objectivity. The weightings are subjective, but at the end, you get an objective winner.

[17:12] Caleb probably spent 40 hours in the process of choosing a SOC. He had 70 different criteria. A smaller decision wouldn’t take as long.

[17:56] The outcome of a big decision can have long-term implications so it’s absolutely worth it to spend the time.

[18:24] Give the matrix a try for smaller decisions and see if you can get some collaborative wins on your team. There’s a lot of appreciation that comes from the ranks when you involve them in making these types of decisions.


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