The 3 golden rules for winning IT budget victories

Successful technology leaders learn how to win the key budget battles for their most important projects.

For technology leaders, IT budget season is your chance to win the company over to your best ideas and to make a long-term, positive impact on the organization. But that doesn't mean it's not a battlefield. The best budget ideas have to be airtight to stand up to the rigours of the budget process. That means you've got to do the preparation.

So we're going to help you out with the 3 golden rules for winning IT budget victories:

1. Do your ROI homework

You wouldn't be an IT leader if you didn't know how to measure the impact of your project in the additional revenue it can generate or the money it can save. But to be a consistent budget winner, you've got a think a level deeper and anticipate all of the objections at the leadership table before the budget talks begin. Maybe even write your own FAQ beforehand to force yourself to systematically think through each one.

2. Line-up buy-in from stakeholders

One of the worst things that can happen in a budget meeting is for a leader who will be impacted by your project to ask a question that derails the process simply because the leader doesn't understand what you're trying to do. Seek out those leaders beforehand and get their buy-in so that they can reinforce and be advocates for your project, rather than derailers.

3. Think like the CEO (and the CFO)

The CEO is typically going to look at your project and think about the narrative it will tell about where the company is headed. So have that narrative ready. The CFO is going to think about how the company will finance it, so have those budget details about CAPEX, OPEX, and the P&L impact ready to smooth the path to budget approval.

Special report

To go deeper on on this topic, see our special report "Tech Budgets 2019: A CXO's Guide." You can read all of the articles on ZDNet or you can download them in one PDF on TechRepublic, available for free to registered users. As always, thank you again for watching and reading. And we'll see you next time.

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Previously on Monday Morning Opener: