Preparation is the Key to Business Value

As businesses adjust to the "new normal" we keep hearing from people that there is a consensus that innovation will play an important role in our new world.  Whether we are talking about information technology to drive employee productivity or transportation systems that move our products around more quickly and proficiently.

Salire has been talking to businesses for 10 years about raising the capabilities of employees to better justify and communicate the value of business investments.  We know that communicating how innovation and higher productivity affects business will continue to become more important in today's (and tomorrow's) business environment.

Today's post will focus on how to prepare for a budget request project.  With these preparatory steps you will increase the odds of your proposal making sense and getting the attention it deserves.

Key Decisions

In the beginning of an effort like this it is important to make some key decisions (or determinations) like; Does this project require deep financial analysis for approval?  What type of financial analysis is required (detailed ROI/TCO or higher level business impact analysis)?  Does this request require a detailed written business plan or will a summarized PowerPoint presentation be more appropriate?

Build Your Support Network

Before you start the detailed work, socialize your proposal with key people in the company to gain a network of support.  This process will give you more information to build your case, help you gain perspective (which is always important) and keep anyone from being surprised.

It is also important to make sure there are no hidden surprises that could affect your proposal.

Validate Your Work

As you are working through your plan there will be opportunities to go back to your support network and ask follow-up questions and refine the plan.  Once you are done then spend time reviewing your plan (analysis and/or business case) with your support team.  They will help you with the final refinements and positioning.

If you follow this process the final plan will be clearer, have broad support and should resonate well with your management.