Friday, 4 December 2009

None of your Business Case!

In a land far, far away and in a time many, many years ago, a young man (nameless) was a junior manager for a large corporation. This junior manager found it necessary, from time to time, to go to his superiors to gain approval for the expenditure of corporate funds to purchase goods and services which, in the mind of the junior manager would prove to be of immeasurable benefit to the said corporation.

After several trips up the mountain on such quests, this junior manager took stock of his position. To date, not one of his requests had been approved! Worse still was the fact that the junior manager's superiors were beginning to avoid him. Perhaps worst of all was the fact that said corporation had not yet been able to avail itself of the immeasurable benefits which would have surely accrued to said corporation if the junior manager's superiors had only had sufficient foresight to see that which was so very obvious to the junior manager. What they were unable to see were the obvious (to the junior manager) immeasurable benefits to be delivered through the expenditures recommended by the junior manager.

Fortunately for our junior manager, there was an individual working at this corporation whom the junior manager trusted and whose advice the junior manager sought on frequent occasions. This persons name was Obeewan Kagampbee. The junior manager scheduled an appointment and went to see his mentor. After listening to the plight of our junior manager, Obeewan asked to see one of the immeasurably beneficial recommendations which had been rejected by senior management.

After several minute of quiet deliberation and pondering, Obeewan announced to the junior manager that he would also have rejected the recommendations for expenditure. Oh horrors! The junior manager was now certain that even his trusted advisor Obeewan had become senile. If the brilliant Obewan Kagampbee was not able to see the obvious merit in his recommendation, surely all hope was lost.

Left with nowhere else to turn, the junior manager summoned his courage and asked Obeewan the fateful question, "Why would you too, Obeewan have rejected my recommendation?"

"Well", said Obeewan, "lemme tellya kid! Foist of all ya ain't got no decent description of WHAT ya think ya need.
What's all this crapola about ICT/IP/OKIKOKI 2000 ARCHITECTURE....NETWORK EIEIO?" The junior manager was shocked. Obeewan continued. "When you're convinced that ya need somethin for the betterment of your group or company, say in plain English talk what it is ya need

"Second kid, ya haven't told nobody WHY ya need this stuff. Is there a particular problem yer tryin to solve ? Is this junk gonna make the company more money ? Is this thing gonna save the company from a lawsoot or somethin ? Ya gotta tell people, again in plain English, talk what's in it fer them or the company!

"Third Kid, people like choices! Nobody likes to have a loaded gun put to their head. ya gotta Identify what alternatives you've thought about before you came to the conclusion you came ta! And, it ain't smart to tell folks that their ain't no alternatives. There are ALWAYS alternatives. So, tell folks about 'em."

Well, our junior manager went away thinking about what he'd been told by Obeewan. He reassembled his first recommendation taking into consideration the pointers he had just received. The very next time he took the proposal to his superiors they accepted it. Not because they had suddenly become wiser, but, because he had explained his case in understandable business terms and was able to demonstrate the benefits that the company would derive from the expenditure.