Selling your boss on work management solutions

Reduced Implementation Costs/Resources

Is your new solution going to be cheaper to implement than other options, in terms of money or resources? You'd be surprised just how important this question can be when getting to approval. Often, new software proposals get turned down because they will require IT resources for an extended period of time to get up and running. Unwilling to spare their resources, IT managers kill the proposal, regardless of the other benefits.

However, you can use this to your advantage if your solution:

• Will take a relatively short time to implement.

• Will require little or no handholding from IT.

• Can be implemented by the vendor at a low cost.

If your solution falls into this category, mention this advantage as you make your case. It will eliminate those inevitable objections from IT, and get you that much closer to 'yes'.

Easier Adoption

This may seem like a minor consideration when trying to sell your decision-makers on your work management solution, but imagine this scenario. What if your company decided to move ahead with a piece of software, spent thousands on licenses, education, and implementation, only to have few or no team members adopt the software? That would be a lot of money and momentum down the drain, not to mention management's credibility. Managers will always be little wary of this.

In light of this, if your work management solution has a track record of high adoption rates with other customers, please include this in your business case.

Better Collaboration and Morale

Now we come to all the qualitative factors that are difficult, if not impossible, to quantify, but are still just as important to your team's success. You can say, for instance, that your work management solution will increase collaboration or reduce team member stress, but it might be hard to apply an actual number to those.

While these benefits might not be as powerful in communicating to managers, Finance, or IT as the benefits above, you still want to include them in your business case. Whenever possible, draw connections between these more intangible benefits and more tangible outcomes. Less overtime and higher morale, for example, equal lower turnover and higher productivity.

Do your homework

As you can probably tell, if you've done your homework in selecting a work management solution, that research should feed directly into your proposal. By clearly and convincingly laying out the ROI, and other intangible benefits, of your work management solution, your success will be greatly improved.

  • Bryan Nielson is the work management evangelist at AtTask where he Bryan is focused on helping teams eliminate the unending chaos of work that kills productivity, drains motivation, and stifles creativity.