Tips for Gathering Internal Support for your Software Project

Getting a software project approved requires cooperation from all of the departments in an organization including customer service, sales, management, and production.Breaking through their initial resistance in order to get them to cooperate can be a very daunting task.

Imagine this scenario: you identify a flaw in your company’s software or IT capabilities and start researching ways to solve the problem. You find some great solutions that can improve the business as a whole. All you need to do now is get buy-in from internal co-workers. The problem is, someone in your organization does not agree with you, and the project cannot move forward without his or her approval.

For many forward thinking employees, this is an obstacle that often seems too big to overcome, so their project idea never gets integrated. If you find yourself in this situation, do not panic, these tips will assist you in getting the buy-in you need.

Get Management on Board

The first step is to get the management team on board. Without the approval from management, it will be nearly impossible to get your project started. Schedule a meeting and explain to them how the new software project will help the company. Getting management approval will make it easier to talk to other departments in your organization.

Include all Involved Individuals in the Process.

Sometimes we focus all of our efforts on going straight to the person that handles the budget. You also need to take into consideration the other people in the company who will be involved with the integration and possible on-going maintenance of the new system. The more involved other people feel, the more invested they will be in the idea, and the more support you will receive.

Engage your Organization Early

The earlier you get your idea across the table, the earlier you can begin to address individual needs and concerns. By engaging earlier, you can also slow down the fear of change, which often leads to objection.

Explain the Benefits in Detail

Make sure to clearly identify all of the benefits in detail, and have some type of plan to measure them in terms that are quantifiable. This way, improvements can be correctly assessed. Keep in mind that negative benefits can be just as powerful as positive ones. Do not be afraid to talk about the negative impacts on the organization that would come about if the project was not implemented. For example, poor reporting and use of valuable data.

Speak the Language of Each Department

When speaking to the budget holder, they will want to hear very different information than the IT department or the end-user wants to hear. Ensure that you cover the unique needs of each department. Avoid using language that they do not understand.

Manage Risks

It is important to show decision makers that any potential risks can be contained or controlled successfully. Write down a list of all the risk facing the project, and come up with plans to properly deal with them. This demonstrates to senior management that you have strongly considered the project, and that you got every single angle covered.

Listen

This one sounds simple, however, when we have a new idea, we get caught up in talking about it and forget to listen. If you are going to take the time to talk to your co-workers about your plan, then be willing to listen to their opinions and suggestions. Do not be afraid to receive feedback, and keep everyone updated through the entire process. Everyone likes to feel involved. Do not make this only your idea, share it with others and your chances of it being implemented will increase.