So how big was your IT team’s budget this year? Hmm, not big enough? Just image what you could do if you had had a bigger budget! As the planning for next year’s budgets starts to gear up, every IT manager out there dreams of getting more money so that his or her team can do more. However, very few of us have had the IT manager training that is needed to get more money. Let’s take a look at what 5 skills this requires.
Ditch The Speech
One of the biggest mistakes that I see a lot of IT managers making is that they sit down and write out a speech that they are going to use when they talk to the people who control their budget. Don’t get me wrong, the speech is a very nice speech, but the problem is that this is not the time for a speech. Rather, it’s time for you to have a conversation with the people who control your purse strings. When you enter this conversation, go in prepared, but make sure that you are ready to go with the conversation no matter where it leads you.
You Need To Be Straightforward
I’m pretty sure that most of us have heard the phrase “honesty is the best policy”. When it comes to asking for a bigger budget, this is an important point. The one thing that you don’t want to do is to come across as being too “salesy”. Glib answers to questions that require a thoughtful answer will not get you the money that you are looking for.
When I tell IT managers that they need to be friendly if they want to have a chance to boost their budget, they are often surprised – this is one of the last things that they think that they need to do. I point out them that if they want the company to provide their team with additional funds, then they are going to have to be able to show that their team is going to be able to get along with all of the other teams that they are going to be relying on in order to accomplish what the company is going to be paying them to do.
Show That You Are Motivated
You are asking your company to spend more money on your team than they had planned on doing. If you want to have any chance of pulling this off, you had better be showing the people who control the money that you have some enthusiasm. You are going to have to get them excited about what you are going to be spending their money on if you want to have any hope of getting that money and it’s going to be your enthusiasm that will be catching…
Don’t Think Small, Think Big!
Finally, you are going to have to be able to impress the people with the company’s money with the way that you think. Remember, you are asking them to place a bet that you’ll be able to do more with their money than a number of other people that they could fund would be able to do. What this means is that you are going to have to get good at expressing big ideas because it is the big idea that is going to result in the largest payback for the company.
What All Of This Means For You
The good news for IT managers is that in most cases, their companies have a fair amount of money to spend on next year’s budgets. However, the problem that we all face is that if we’re not careful, our IT team is not going to get very much of that money. That’s why we need to develop the IT manager skills that we’re going to need in order to get a bigger budget.
When it comes time to ask for more money, we need to skip giving speeches to the folks in charge and instead try to have a conversation with them. When they ask you questions, you need to be both honest and concise. You’ll need to show that your IT team can get along with other teams both within IT and outside of it. Your enthusiasm for what you want your team to be able to accomplish with your larger budget must be on display. Finally, if you want the company to bet more of its money on your team, then you need to convince the people who control that money that you are thinking big.
There is no reason that you should have to settle for a budget that is the same size as last year’s budget. Instead, use some of those IT team building skills that you have and go ask for more money. The worst that can happen is that they tell you “no”, and the best that can happen is that you walk away with a bigger budget for next year!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: When you want to increase your IT team’s budget, how much extra funding should you ask for?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
The secret to being a good IT manager is having the IT manager skills to truly connect with the members of your team. This is not magic, it’s actually a skill that can be learned with a little bit of IT manager training. You need to be able to sit down with each member of your team and have a real, meaningful conversation with them. This is the only way that you’re going to be able to get them to believe in you and do what you need them to do for you. So just exactly how does one go about having these types of conversations?