Information technology has immensely changed the commercial landscape and how business is conducted, especially in the era of the digital age. Every day, company employees come up with ideas, proposals or recommendations that increase business opportunities for companies and help in company growth. However, not all companies have massive resources lying around and therefore company leaders need plenty of substance and convincing before they can approve information technology proposals. As a company’s chief information officer, below are some of the things you should consider if you want to increase your chances of having your idea or proposal approved.
1. Building a Close Relationship with Company Leaders
Creating a close working relationship with your boss will go a long way in helping you improve your chances of having your project approved. The close relationship will allow you to bring up the matter regarding your project with your boss way before you meet him or her for the formal approval. The matter can be brought up casually over lunch break or you can set up a less formal meeting with your boss to discuss his or her views about it. Bringing up the project while it is still in its early stages will help you understand your audience’s feelings or opinions about the proposal. It can also help surface questions and comments early in the process and your boss can even help you improve and expand on the idea.
It is possible that the stakeholders may see something in your idea that you did not see before. Therefore, to increase your chances of having your project or idea approved, it is important to create a close working relationship with the involved stakeholders. Make sure the executive team is involved as much as possible and as early as possible. This will not only make you more prepared for the formal approval, but it will also demonstrate that you are interested in their opinions.
2. Focus on the Benefits
Projects in information technology require resources to implement and company leaders will be more interested in how the project you are proposing will benefit the company and expand its growth. The lower the investment, the higher the returns and the more minimal the risks, the more likely you are to get the green light. It is therefore important to focus on stating the benefits that your project will bring to the company. You need to make sure that your idea and its benefits are well articulated and that the executives at the top of the organization fully understand the value of the initiative.
You must position your idea in terms of the benefits your audience stands to gain with its approval. You should be keen to identify where challenges exist within the company and explain how investment in your proposal will help handle the challenge and support new business opportunities for the company. In addition, you need to shape your presentation so that it speaks directly to those benefits and the ways that your audience will reap them. Whether the benefits mean saving on costs on resources spent on the company, or even involve the personal success of the company leaders in matters relating to the management of the company. This will go a long way in helping create a positive mindset among the stakeholders and increase your chances of approval.
3. Be Clear During Your Presentation
Confidence is important when it comes to having your project approved. Displaying confidence will help make your audience have trust in your project or recommendation. This means being clear during your presentation and avoiding confusing your audience. This also means being ready to answer any questions that relate to your project-concise and honest responses. It also means being ready to having your audience to pull apart your proposal. You should be able to allow criticisms on the project. Avoid getting angry or emotional when the audience challenges your proposal. This will help the stakeholders get a clear picture of the proposal and will also help you know and understand areas in the project that may need more clarification or improvement.
4. Indicate How the Project’s Success Will Be Measured
Company leaders are more likely to invest resources in a project that has clear indications of how its success will be measured. This means having a project that has a tangible, measurable impact on the company’s current systems and processes within an acceptable time frame. The stakeholders need to be presented with a project request that lays out the problem being solved, the options, the benefits, the risks, and the timescales. Therefore, while presenting your information technology project, make sure to give clear indications of how you will measure its success, a feature that will help drive both the project and the business forwards.
5. Leverage on Colleagues
You can use have your trusted colleagues critique your project before you present it to your company leaders for approval. This will help you get honest feedback on the proposal and also get a broader perspective of the company. It will help you identify areas that need improvement and be able to make the necessary modifications before requesting formal approval.