Consider the following scenario: you are a workplace strategist, tasked with reorganizing a global corporation’s campus. Employees are spread out across multiple buildings, with very little thought or organization. The project entails identifying appropriate adjacencies, in addition to adding space for approximately 300 new employees; all while the enterprise continues to conduct business as usual.
Under normal circumstances, your team would work through this project with spreadsheets. You would devise multiple scenarios based on the organization’s current and short-term needs. The baseline budget would take weeks, with multiple adjustments throughout the project. Redesign and specification would be another arduous phase of the endeavor. Unless…your firm’s executives agree to invest in a new software tool you’ve identified.
This cloud-based software tool will streamline the entire process, saving countless hours and removing the potential for human error. It would also provide the added benefit of enabling your team to collect critical data, through surveys, from those on the frontline. This software tool would not only benefit this current project, it would set the foundation for success for each project hereafter. While the cost is reasonable, it does require an initial investment. So, how do you convince upper management that the investment will only be a fraction, compared to the savings that will be reaped long-term? After all, the bottom line is generally the primary factor driving most administrative decisions. Let’s examine a few key strategies that could assist you in achieving stakeholder approval.
What Is Your Motivation for Making These Changes?
Before approaching management, make sure you have thoroughly defined all current and potential speed bumps, and identified any solutions that could help alleviate these issues. While you may have a specific strategy or new tool in mind, it’s important that you prove you have done your homework. Providing options, comparisons, and contrasts prove to decision-makers that you have done a thorough job in identifying the unique needs of your organization and how those needs could best be met. Work with your intended software partner to provide case studies, testimonials and/or reports to further bolster your assessments.
Gain Support from Colleagues
Regardless of where you fall on the organizational ladder, collaboration with colleagues will be an essential part of the process. Including them will not only help alleviate the struggles that come with implementing changes, it could also help uncover talking points you might not otherwise have thought of.
Speak Your Executives’ Language
What, ultimately, are your executives trying to achieve? What are their short and long-term goals? How can this new software tool help them achieve these goals? Understanding these key points is a critical component to gaining approval.
Get Ahead of Their Objections
Gaining executive approval is, in essence, a sales pitch. And, every great salesman knows that preparation for the objection handling can make or break a pitch. Consider your proposal from every angle, identifying and preparing for the unavoidable ifs, buts, and what’s that will arise from your executives as they voice their concerns. Your preparation will no only prove you’ve done your homework, it will evoke trust that you have a contingency plan for potential risks. Trust leads to confidence, bringing you that much closer to your desired results.
Provide Facts and Figures
The C-suite is generally conservative when it comes to their spending practices. For many, the bottom line is the primary figure they use when determining the organization’s success. As a result, your argument should be numbers-driven, exemplifying the time and money savings garnered through the implementation of this new software tool. Come prepared with examples of how other enterprises have benefitted, the savings associated with implementation, and, ultimately, how this would apply to your organization specifically.
Introducing any new business tool requires a great deal of thought, vision, and understanding. Before making your pitch, know your organization’s pain points, as well as their short and long-term goals. Armed with this information, you can cohesively develop a case that touches on all relevant and critical points. Know your audience and come to them with a balanced and factual manner, providing real-life examples as to how this tool could positively affect the bottom line. A clear and compelling case with make it difficult for the decision makers to say no.