5 Steps to Get Project Funding for Cognos BI & TM1
You just survived another budgeting cycle and you are consumed by year-end processes. Long hours, late nights and you realize this is not fun! There has to be a better way to do things, right? Are you wondering why you are still manually validating data, and rekeying information? Every year, you are promised better tools, new systems and improved processes, but where are they? Why, of course, that project was scratched from the budget and will you ever be getting projects funded? As long as they have you to stay late and do the manual processes, it must be working…at least good enough, right?
STOP THE INSANITY! It’s time to take your time and your life back. But how can you get your dream system approved? It’s simple. Prove the value; the RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI). Getting projects funded for your business analytics projects, you need to think like the person(s) approving the project. They are in charge of spending the company’s money wisely. So you need to prove the financial benefit to the organization.
- Requirements Gathering – Start building your case in the requirements gathering phase. Ask users how long it takes them to complete tasks, what the effects would be if there were manual errors and document their responses. My video on using notebooks will give you some ideas: http://lodestarsolutions.com/lodestar/?p=2727.
- Recently Approved Projects – Talk to people who recently received funding and approval for their projects, what the process was, and what the hot buttons were for the approving committee or person.
- Build your Camp – Every company has politics, so talk to IT, Finance… anyone affected by the process, and get their ideas on how a solution would benefit the company.
- Create the analysis of the ROI – Include details on cost reduction through process automation, reduction in headcount, business cost reduction like increasing inventory turns, and increased revenue and profits. Also, provide ALL the costs associated with the project: software, hardware, resources, consultants, travel, training… A great resource is Nucleus Research’s website and free ROI Calculator: http://nucleusresearch.com/research.
- Do your Research and use Quotes – There are statistics available that will help plead your case. Find credible studies that can build your case and quote them in your proposal. I recommend also asking the CFO what she or he thinks the benefits of a better solution would be and directly quote the CFO in your proposal.
Getting funding takes work. However, with the right plan and information, you can prove the financial benefits of your business analytics projects to get approval.