In this blog post, I discuss the differences between projects and tickets and when to use them. It was following a recent webinar with Superops.io in which I discussed the differences between the two.
You can see that webinar here.
What is the difference between tickets and projects?
This is something that I get asked about almost every day when I am consulting with MSPs. People always want to know when to use one over the other so that’s going to be the topic of this blog post.
So let’s look at the difference between projects and tickets
When do you use each of these and how do you use each of these to improve the profitability of your MSP?
Let’s start by asking what is a ticket.
Typically a ticket is something that is used to perform a single piece of work such as fixing an issue with a customer(outlook hanging for example), and typically something that requires one person to work on and perform that specific thing from start to finish. So any kind of remedial work should be a ticket. . Typically a ticket is for work that can be done by one person and does not necessarily require multiple skill sets. Some smaller “projects” can be tickets too, such as the installation of a PC, which would include Windows and office installs because is one task that can be performed by one person from start to finish.
Let’s start by asking what is a project.
Typically a project is something that spans over multiple days, weeks, months, etc, and requires multiple skill sets which could be performed at the same time or one after the other and typically is charged at a fixed rate (eg $5000). Something like a network infrastructure refresh would be a great example of a project, there are many moving parts, you need Networking people, Cabling people, Windows people, exchange people etc. All of these people have different skill sets, and most of the time you would not have all of those areas performed by one person. A network infrastructure project like this also could/would span over multiple weeks and would most likely need one task to be completed after the one before it, and so on. You would typically charge for this kind of work as a fixed price.
If you were to all of those tasks (Multiple network steps., Cabling, Installing Routers, etc) as tickets it would be very difficult to manage and keep track of.
Can I use projects and tickets interchangeably?
Absolutely! Although tickets are for single pieces of work, and projects are for longer-term work that requires more resources and skills, etc, there is no reason why you can’t use them interchangeably
Let’s look at the scenario of a PC build. Whilst this is a single piece of work (with lots of different steps/tasks) such as installing Software and updates and it would be performed by one person, there is no reason why you could not run this as a project. For example, you could have different tasks in the main project for everything that needs to be installed on the PC. for example Windows install could be one task, and office could be another. You could even have multiple people do the work. But doing something like a PC build as a project is a massive overkill and would take more to set up the project than actually installing the PC.
The same goes for a network infrastructure setup, where you would install cabling, networking equipment, servers etc. There is no reason why you could not do each of these as individual tickets, but doing so would be so much harder to manage as you would have many tickets sitting independently in the ticketing system it would be a nightmare to manage.
In Conclusion, projects and tickets are interchangeable, and whilst you could use tickets for “Larger” longer-term work, and you could also use tickets for smaller things like PC builds I would recommend not doing this. It’s too time-consuming to use project Management in the PSA for small jobs and too unwieldy to use tickets for large projects. So keep them separate
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