Happy New Year to everyone! Now that we are all back at work and the holiday season is behind us, most of us are in the last phases of the planning process for 2014, where plans are being socialized and tweaked before they are finalized. So with that in mind I wanted to share two pieces of advice that can help you ensure your projects are funded, approved and started on the right foot. This advice applies to B2B Integration, Managed File Transfer, Commerce or any IT project.
The first piece of advice is to make a rock solid case for your budget to ensure funding. Two of my colleagues have recently written excellent pieces on making the case for funding B2B Integration projects, which you can access below.
B2B Experts: Prove Your Value to the Business and Win the 2014 Budget Battle
It’s Budget time – Are your B2B integration projects being funded?
I don’t want to cover the same ground as those insightful blogs, you can read them for yourselves, but the ideas mentioned can be applied beyond B2B Integration to any project.
The second piece of advice is to tie your project to the corporate goals. This may seem obvious and basic, but you would be surprised at how many times it is overlooked. IT projects today, unless they fall under mobile, analytics or cloud, are not very sexy and therefore risk being marginalized or pushed down the priority list. Your job is to show the strategic value of your project and one way to do that is to tie your project to a top three corporate goal. The connection may not be obvious at first, but if you work at it, you will find one.
A good place to start is by examining the benefits of the project, beyond cost savings, particularly the benefits that tie to information. The more automation in a business process the more information is available digitally. Likewise, the more partners and more transactions that are automated the more information is available digitally. When information is digital, it opens up many possibilities, which are good ways to tie into corporate goals. Digital information can be made available to customers or partners for order tracking and status. Digital information improves your decision making by giving a more complete, accurate and faster view of the supply chain. The more digital information, the more effective your data analytics initiatives will be, which is a hot topic now. Increasing digital information can be the link between your project and a top corporate goal. Look at who benefits from that additional information and how does it relate to your company’s strategic goals? If you don’t know, ask your colleagues in the lines of business how the additional information would be valuable or tie into their priorities.