Getting Down to Business

Transform Your IT Systems… And Your Organization

Part of the Modernization Readiness Boot Camp

Don’t propose an IT project for the wrong reasons. This article for the Modernization Readiness Boot Camp serves to help you identify how to find the business value, how to develop the business case, and how to pitch it to decision makers.

Find the Business Value

You’ll need to find the business value of the IT project as early in the process as possible. Then begin even earlier. Early project planning is necessary to build rapport with the leaders who will go to bat for your project and for building a solid business case.

The business will be paying close attention to deliverables, ROI, cost-per-feature, and schedule. Any IT department should get invested in a project schedule before getting buy-in, especially if the business will be the ultimate customer for the transformed software. The leadership buy-in and adoption is critical. Sequencing a good project timeline to their needs is part of that adoption.

Align with Company Goals

Identify a company-wide goal that is tied to operations efficiencies or sales. Companies that are in a process of change or transformation often have specific measurable targets and expect all departments to have creative ideas to meet those goals. Any relevant support you can give should be attractive to the business and give them motivation to help you.

Transformations often create efficiencies and often shouldn’t be undertaken unless they result in new opportunities and revenue benefits that businesses are interested in. For the business side, they will often state the objectives with the company-wide goal, so it should be simple to align your project to meet these goals.

For instance, if the business-side goal is to increase US sales volume by 15% within the next year, you can create projects that:

Transform systems to meet sales needs

Lead to efficiencies for increased sales

Open up new opportunities for new customers

A legacy system might create complex work or tasks that make new customer enrollment less efficient. Improving processes will be an attractive contribution to the goal of creating efficient customer enrollment. You also might be able to partner up process improvement with your transformation goals and create new services or new customer engagement channels with transformed application.

Find your Leadership Champions

Get key leadership buy-in. They have to be able to understand it firstly before they can put their effort behind it to leadership to request fund or seek approval for the project. Building this relationship with a leader who will champion your project within your organization is situation specific. Different companies operate differently and have different hierarchies that will affect how you’ll need to approach a potential champion. This could be a CIO or a CFO, or simply a product owner.

Across the board, the important point is that it’s Important to get at least a handful of people of reciprocal understanding in sales, marketing, finance, and/or IT who see how your project can benefit the business.

Know Your Audience

The project buy-in stage is a good opportunity to look for a vendor who can help fill in the gaps of an execution project. In the early phases of communicating the benefits of transformation, a great vendor can help build a business case that is highly visualized and contextualized. They’ll help leadership understand what they’ll get out of the investment.

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