Having worked with IT professionals like yourself for years, we've basically heard it all – your ups, downs, your challenges, failures and, our favorite, your successes.One recurring theme is all the great stuff you're doing that nobody notices. The old "no news is good news" dilemma. It's always the hiccups that get attention. Smoothly running new apps not so much.
Leave all the acronyms and tech speak outside the door. That doesn’t mean to talk down to them, rather use the whole words, not the shortcut terms you use with the team.
Keep on topic. You probably know that it doesn’t take much for a meeting about a project, to morph into a “we need this” or “we have this problem” session. Don’t go there. Either address those issues up front in an organized manner or schedule a separate meeting to discuss them.
Show how the project or new piece of technology benefits them, not you! Paint a picture. Turn those “use cases” into stories. “So, the great thing is that, if you need xyz file, you don’t have wait for John to get it for you. You’re no longer stuck waiting for something you need now. You can log in and instantly pull it up…”
Before you ask for money, show what you are doing to save money.“Some good news. We just renegotiated a contract with (x) that will save us about (x) thousand dollars over the next few months.” Touch on process flow improvement, automation, or tools like a TEM (telecom/technology expense management) that, among other things, help you avoid over-paying invoices.
Finally, give them a glimpse of the future. So, you’re doing this now, but this is where you’re headed. If you’re stoked about what’s coming downstream, chances are they will be too.
Remember too that time is of the essence. You may have an hour, or you may have 15 minutes. Don't leave without making all your points … and getting what you want!