Let’s face it, senior management of any organization is typically the entity chartered with fiscal responsibility when it comes to the company funds. They are inundated with potential projects that promise the world in terms of returns and are extremely important to the originators of the project. The best way to sell your management on any concept is to put yourself in their shoes, then sell it to yourself.
If we are in senior management’s shoes, we have certain corporate objectives in terms of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) or Corporate Dashboard Metrics to meet. We are budgeted a certain amount of funds in an effort to return a certain Return-on-Investment (ROI) of these funds. Therefore, while management may feel we are excellent employees, that is not the criteria by which they will select a project to support. This is not personal; it is about the bottom-line. When dealing with most managements in an effort to sell a project, we must develop a sound business case for them to review. We must express the benefits of our projects in units they will understand, ultimately the mighty dollar.
What is involved in building and communicating a business case? It is all about the numbers. We can rationalize a slew of ‘soft’ reasons why a project should be supported such as:
it will increase employee morale,
it will improve our relations with the community,
we want to treat our people like assets, and/or
it will improve customer satisfaction
But, as we know in our hearts, it all boils down to the bottom-line. If we cannot communicate our project’s ability to generate (in some fashion) a measurable return for the company, then the chances of the project moving forward are slim.
I will share in a later post a basic outline of the elements of a business case that helps communicate your project to senior management. For now, remember to communicate in the universal language, dollars, that senior management understands.
Bob Latino is currently a Principal of Prelical Solutions, LLC. Bob was the former CEO of the Reliability Center, Inc. (RCI), until its acquisition in 2019. Bob is an internationally recognized author, trainer, software developer, lecturer and practitioner of best practices in all aspects of a holistic Root Cause Analysis (RCA) system. Please feel free to contact Bob Latino at email@example.com and/or visit www.prelical.com for more information.