This is probably a very familiar scenario for Financial Directors and CEOs. The IT manager, yet again, wants money for a new project … S/he explains that it will benefit you all in the long run … which is what s/he said last week and the month before for Projects ABC and XYZ …
Surely the IT manager just loves new gizmos and that’s all there is to it?!
Well, maybe you did hire the wrong person and s/he is just using your company’s money to buy new toys that don’t lead to any real benefit … but how likely do you think that is?
Quite possibly, the IT manager is looking at current processes with a critical eye. While so many of us go ‘Grrr, here we go again, I have to update 4 different spreadsheets with the same information’ and do that grudgingly, checking facebook twice in the process, and miss an important decimal point in one of the spreadsheets … the IT manager is thinking
‘Hang on a minute, surely there is a more efficient way of doing this! Surely we can solve this time-wasting!’
… And that’s when s/he comes to your office, because they are confident they can solve a serious problem in the business!
It means you have employed the right person, who does not passively go about their daily tasks, but is futureproofing the organisation. People who are critical of the status quo and come up with feasible ideas are key to any business.
Especially when margins are squeezed because of increased costs, weaker pound, etc, we have to make processes more reliable and efficient!
Of course it’s never wise to give people a blank cheque! So here are key questions to ask, to ensure that the proposed project is a good idea:
- What is the problem that it’s trying to solve?
- What are the tangible benefits of this project?
- How scalable or futureproof is this project (if relevant)?
- How will the project impact the following?
- Meeting the organisation’s statutory obligations, if any.
- Staff engagement.
- Customer relationships.
- The bottom line.
The key is to do this with an open mind. Why? Because the person in front of you could be proposing a product that significantly increases efficiency and profitability … So actually the financial pain caused now could lead to significant long-term gain.
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