Are you planning to innovate and bring your ideas to your company? Would you like to present your new digital project to colleagues, management, the board of directors or financial partners? To see your ideas become reality, you will need to maximize your chances of success, including your project in the overall company strategy. In order to convince the stakeholders, you will also have to take into account the obstacles you will face in terms of material, financial and human resources. In this article, we present three steps that will allow you to prepare yourself serenely for this important moment.
Step 1: Include Your Project In the Company's Global Strategy
To be able to sell a digital project internally in your company, you must first make sure that it is attached to a strategic plan. Your project must actually be in line with the company’s strategies, objectives and current context. Conversely, it will be compromised and quickly put under the pile if it does not correspond to the history, mission, vision and values of the company as well as the objectives targeted in the short, medium and long term for the coming years.
A digital project must be part of a vision but also generate gains quickly. Considering that the context can evolve very quickly, the proposed solution must be malleable to adjust to different situations. It is also essential to rally other influential colleagues. They will be both a source of information during the preparation and a source of support during the final presentation of the project: they will be able to identify the problems to be solved and understand the rationale behind the digital solution presented.
Next, it is important to understand the needs, benefits and impacts of all the decision-makers who will be affected by the solution, in order to address their concerns and convince them of the merits of the solution. Convincing the real decision-makers and adapting your speech according to the target audience is essential. Indeed, a few key internal people will later evaluate the project with a certain number of criteria, according to their needs, such as:
- Production manager: efficiency gains and workforce impacts
- Finance Manager: ROI (return on investment)
- CIO: stability and evolution of the solution
- Senior management: the overall strategic need of the company
Externally, key partners such as institutional organizations that manage funding programs or industry associations that have operating budgets to provide services to their members will be your audience of choice.
This first step is essentially to inform the decision-makers in advance so as not to take them by surprise. They will feel informed and can critique your idea. You kill two birds with one stone by mobilizing decision-making power and getting expert feedback.
Step 2: Present your project strategically
To increase your chances of success in presenting your project, Merkur suggests building your pitch in 4 phases:
Understanding the problem
Remember that a solution that does not respond to a problem or that is not in line with the company’s strategy is useless. This step is therefore about demonstrating the nature of the problem, its causes and possible solutions. The clearer and more clearly defined this step is, the more your auditors will be mobilized.
You must be able to illustrate the rationale for your digital project and demonstrate the added value of its implementation within the company. To highlight the current problem, your arguments will revolve around the digital solution, which can quickly have an impact on the quality and productivity of the teams involved.
The importance of the issue
The art here lies in your ability to quantify the importance of the issue in terms of time, financial impact and opportunity cost. These quantitative arguments, if presented at the right time and to the right people, will have the effect of making the issue credible. It’s time to talk business!
The installation of a digital solution allows for a more accurate picture of current operations and better analysis in real time. By making data talk, organizational impact is measurable and quantifiable. The analyses lead to operational readjustments and have the effect of taking pressure off the workforce, optimizing tasks or even reassigning employees to other positions where they will better develop their full potential. These same data analyses also generate longer term changes as they allow to anticipate the various developments of the company.
The strategy to solve the problem
This point is important. Its subtlety lies in your know-how not to go into the details of the methodology, but to provide high-level solutions. You will thus detail what you will work on and act upon.
There is no room for improvisation at this stage: your understanding of the problem, your knowledge of digital solutions, your ability to interpret the data and transform it into gains at the organizational level will make all the difference. Moreover, the spirit of collaboration with the team in place is essential for a flawless commitment of the teams involved.
The approach and the solution
Now it’s time to present the chosen solution and talk about the technical aspects. The entire methodology, approach, budget and details will be revealed.
Normally, if the thread between these 4 points is clear and logical, the presentation of your project will go very well.
Step 3: Follow-up
At this stage, you must continue the presentation of your project in a listening, open and transparent mode. You must ensure that the project remains alive by planning the next steps and by making the changes requested by the managers who have the decision-making authority.
Just remember that before embarking on a large-scale project, you must know your environment, the business context of the company that employs you, the decision-makers and the internal decision-making structure. This way, you will be able to adapt your speech and increase the chances that your project will finish first!
For your important projects, don’t hesitate to call on Merkur to evaluate the return on investment and especially to improve your project. We can also help you find the right programs that have grants to implement digital solutions.
MERKUR is a firm of experts in manufacturing performance and innovation and has been doing so for over 25 years. From strategy to execution, its sole objective is to make Quebec’s manufacturing companies more efficient by offering innovative solutions in product development, operational excellence, manufacturing engineering, automation and smart factory. Merkur is proud to contribute to innovation and productivity in Quebec!
KHROME PRODUIT TRANSPORT is a manufacturing integrator located in Drummondville specialized in the design and manufacturing of train car interiors and exteriors. Its strength comes from its great engineering capacity and its manufacturing agility. Among its customer portfolio, there are major manufacturers such as Alstom, Bombardier Transportation and Kawasaki Rail Car.
SYNKRO is a software developed by Merkur and designed specifically for high-performance manufacturers. It collects, classifies, and distributes the right data to the right people at the right time. SYNKRO gives you a real vision of your operations. SYNKRO is the software solution that finally connects your floor and your offices!