How to Sell PPM to Your Boss - Page 1

Feb 8, 2005

Jeff Monteforte

Have you ever heard your CEO or CFO complain about the high cost of IT in your company? Are you frustrated by the fact that your company executives make every project a No.1 priority?

Well, you're not alone. In a survey of over 250 CIOs, nearly half (48%) said that the most frustrating aspects of their job can be attributed to three items:

  • planning IT's direction without a clear business strategy;
  • attempting to set priorities (again related to the lack of a clear business strategy); and
  • overcoming imposed budget constraints (without -- you got it -- a clear business strategy).

  • Being a CIO and trying to manage a company's information technology without knowing where the company wants to go is like walking through a maze while wearing a blindfold. You never quite know if you're on the right route and you turn down several pathways that end up taking you in the wrong direction.

    Turning It Around

    Fixing the rift between IT and the rest of the company cannot be accomplished without the participation of your executives and business unit heads. The discipline of IT PPM (PPM) is the best IT governance practice to begin building the necessary bridges that enable business/IT alignment.

    Portfolio management includes the critical ingredients necessary to overcome the perceptions that plague IT organizations. It does this by getting business units more involved in the IT investment planning and decision-making process and provides the forum for improving communications with the CEO and other business unit heads.

    Fish On

    So, you've already done your homework and are convinced that PPM is the way to go, but your CEO and business executives are skeptical and you just can't seem to get the buy-in that you need to move this initiative forward. What do you do?

    First, you need to keep in mind that every person, including your CEO, CFO or business unit executive, has some form of buyer's resistance. The good news is that this resistance can be overcome and converted into passionate support if you follow this proven method.

    When introducing the idea of PPM your objective needs to be two-fold: to overcome their resistance while persuading them to take action.

    To do this you'll need a results-oriented approach that addresses the biggest objections to be effective.

    The following five-step "sales" approach is designed to overcome each of the major objections in a careful and methodical manner while guiding your executive to the conclusion that PPM is the right solution, right now! The five steps are:

  • Identify the problem (both spoken and unspoken).
  • Provide the solution.
  • Show the benefits.
  • Make a call to action.
  • Close with a warning.
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