Secrets to Getting Funding for Your Cognos Projects

Secrets to Getting Funding for your IBM Cognos Upgrades and Projects
Secrets to Getting Funding for your IBM Cognos Upgrades and Projects
February 11th, 2021

Are you using software like Cognos Analytics BI and in desperate need of a Cognos upgrade?  Or maybe you are manually using Excel for your budget and forecasting process and with the rapid changes required, need a better solution like Cognos Planning Analytics?  At the end of the day, you need to know, The Secret to Getting Funding for Your Cognos Projects. 

Funding is Not Blocked.

You may have been told, there is no budget for new projects or a Cognos upgrade.  Well, I don’t believe that to be true.  In fact, I have experienced many times where clients were told there was no funding for their Cognos upgrade, but funds magically appeared when we positioned the Cognos upgrade to solve a bigger challenge, help the organization achieve a strategic goal or showed how the Cognos upgrade mitigated a huge unforeseen risk.

Cognos Funding is Not Your Problem, Positioning Is.

The Problem is not lack of funding.  The problem is you are not positioning the benefits for your Cognos or Cognos Planning Analytics upgrade or investment in a way that benefits people that can make funding appear.  You do know that almost every CFO has a discretionary funds bucket, right?

To position your project to benefit the people with the money, you also need to understand how they are wired.  How do they make decisions?  Are they risk adverse?  Once you discover how they are wired, then you want to present in a way that makes the decision to fund your Cognos project easy and comfortable, which includes addressing all their possible objections.

Bad Experience with Previous Upgrade.

You also want to explore what experiences has the decision maker had in the past with IT projects?  If the CFO, who typically is risk adverse, had a bad Cognos upgrade 10 years ago, he or she may not be willing to fund your IT project or upgrade.  The secret to getting funding then is to make sure you show them the process you will be taking and ensure mistakes of the past will not happen again. 

There are so many tips we can share about getting funding for Cognos, that we decided to create a webinar on the topic.  Here’s a link to our webinar which was the first of our monthly Client Success Webinars, How to Get Funding for Your IT Projects. 

If you would like to join our future Cognos Client success webinars see our events page

Additionally, you might want to check out our previous blog
5 Steps To Get Project Funding

Need Help Positioning Your Cognos Upgrade?

If you are an IBM Analytics customer looking to get funding for your Cognos Planning Analytics TM1 or Cognos Analytics upgrade or additional licenses, you don’t have to go it alone!  Lodestar Solutions is happy to help you strategically design your pitch for funding using are proven method and secrets to getting funding for your Cognos projects.  Just email us at so we can help show you a better way.

How Top Cognos Consultants Overcome Objection to Get Funding

Overcome Objections
Overcome Objections
October 8th, 2020

Are you looking to get funding for you Cognos Analytics upgrade (BI) or Cognos Planning Analytics upgrade (TM1) but challenged to get it approved?  Maybe you just want funding to get Cognos training on the new Cognos features and functionality.  Today I will share how top Cognos consultants overcome objection so you can become more influential and get the approvals and funding you desire.

Top Objections:

In order to overcome objection, first we need to identify the top objections commonly seen when we are requesting funding for a Cognos upgrade project, training or implementation project. 

Objection 1: Money - 

The number one objection for not getting a Cognos upgrade or additional investment approved is lack of budget or funding.  Yes, money is tight, budgets have been cut but there are proven ways to get funding.  Many people fail to get funding because they fail to build out a Return on Investment (ROI) model.  If the financial benefits experienced because of the upgrade are greater than the cost of the upgrade, you have a much greater chance of securing the funding. 

For more information on the cost to upgrade and ways to sell your project internally check out our YouTube video, Cost to Upgrade to IBM Cognos Analytics.

You also might like our previous blog on, 5 Steps to Get Project Funding for Cognos BI & TM1.

Objection 2: Time - 

The second most common objection is, “we just don’t have enough time.”  I fully appreciate how busy everyone is, but as with most things proper planning can significantly reduce the amount of time needed for the Cognos upgrade.  If you are on an older version that is not supported currently, you are leaving yourself very vulnerable to having issues when 3rd party tools like Microsoft are upgraded.  How much time would it take to try to fix the system if you cannot get support because you are on an old version?  If your senior management is saying we do not have time, take a close look at your calendar and try to map out when your team would have time to execute the upgrade.  Also, consider upgrading your TM1 or Cognos BI to get on the latest version and to introduce the new functionality.  This phased approach has helped Lodestar clients to overcome the time objection.

Objection 3: Lack of Support -

Lack of support from executives is the third reason Lodestar clients struggle to receive funding.  But getting support often requires you to find an executive that will greatly benefit from the new functionality and feature and then, ask them for their support.  I am always surprised when I ask teams if they asked for executive support, they answer that the executive is busy, and they do not want to bother him or her.  Another secret to getting executive support is to find out the strategic goals of the organization and approach an executive that you feel would be in a better position to accomplish their goals if they had the tools provided with an upgrade.  Many executives have bonuses tied to accomplishing strategic goals.

For more information on getting executive support, check out our blog, Why You Struggle To Get Executive Buy-In For Your Data and Analytics Projects.

Objection 4: Fear -

Fear is the fourth factor to why clients fail to move forward on their Cognos Analytics and /or Planning Analytics upgrade.  Fear of failure, fear of looking stupid, fear of asking for executive support.  They all play a role in what holds us back.  Imagine if you could overcome your fear, and confidently ask for support, funding, etc.…  How would you feel when the executives are impressed with your take action attitude and promote you?  You can do this.  Be courageous, overcome objection and ask for the funding. 

Objection 5: Self-Doubt -

I would be remised if I did not include what I feel is the biggest hurdle Cognos teams have in securing the funding for their upgrade, self-doubt. You know that little voice in your head that says you don’t know what you are doing, or you will never get approval for funding.  But what so many people fail to identify is that the voice of self-doubt only appears when you are challenging yourself and your teams.  When you are about to have a moment of greatness.  It does not appear when you do the same thing you have always done.  Successful Cognos managers will tell you, when you find the courage to ask for funding and when you find the time to properly plan your upgrade, greatness begins.  What are the first step you can take today to prepare for your upgrade?  Go do it.

How to Handle the Objections?

The first step in the process that top Cognos Consultants use to overcome objections to get funding is to identify the reason for the objection like we did above.  The next step is to put yourself in the shoes of the person that can approve your request for funding for your IBM Cognos Analytics or IBM Cognos Planning Analytics upgrade.  Are they risk adverse?  Then you would focus on the risk of being on an unsupported version.  If they don’t believe there’s enough benefits for the cost, work on defining benefits and tie them to the strategic goals for the organization. 

I believe it is best to write down the objection and the responses, how the objection is a myth or is not true.  And don’t forget, timing is everything!  If you are just entering budget season, then now is the best time to ask for money.  Check out our earlier blog, Have You Secured Funding Yet? It’s Budgeting Season, Secure Funding Now For IBM Cognos.  

You Aren't Alone, Email Us

Now that you have identified all the possible objections for why your organization might not approve your Cognos upgrade request, and you wrote down how to overcome each of the objections.  The final step is to email us at and ask for help.  Yes, Lodestar Solutions has helped hundreds of clients plan and secure funding for their upgrades. We are happy to help you too. 

BAAM 2.0 – Cognos Implementation & Upgrade Success

Let Me Introduce You to BAAM
Let Me Introduce You to BAAM
September 26, 2019

Are you struggling to realize the full benefits of your Cognos investment?  There just doesn’t seem to be enough time to roll out the new Cognos Analytics (BI) functionality or to update your Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1) models.  Well that’s all about to change with Lodestar Solutions’ BAAM 2.0 for Cognos implementation and upgrade success!

BAAM 2.0 – (Business Analytics Agile Methodology) is Lodestar Solutions’ proven Cognos implementation methodology that has been updated to make you successful even when time and resources are limited!

Agile methods have been used for innovation, driving more value and quality for a number of years. At Lodestar Solutions we have taken our knowledge of agile methods, and years of experience implementing IBM Cognos solutions and created a unique approach that is repeatable and included with all of our Cognos implementation and upgrade projects.

Why do we call it BAAM?

According to the highly respected Urban Dictionary, BAAM is a “surprising or unexpected action or response to show that you are smarter than expected.” And you know at Lodestar Solutions we try to be hip.  

But it’s the perfect name for what you are going to achieve when rolling out the new functionality of IBM Cognos Analytics and Cognos Planning Analytics with your upgrade.  Your executives want amazing results but in most organizations executives feel their investment in business intelligence and analytics has fell flat. 

“More than 87% of organizations are classified as having low business intelligence (BI) and analytics maturity”, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. BAAM 2.0 is designed to help you achieve success. 

Stages of Lodestar Solutions’ BAAM 2.0

  • Pre-Project Planning - Time to get organized and discover the strategic goals of the company
  • Project Kickoff – Team meeting to set expectations and define communication methods. This is where we introduce Smartsheet to our clients.
  • Discovery Meetings – We dive deep to discover what’s possible given your data, resources and timeline.  This creates the game plan for the project
  • Sprints – The project is chunked into smaller projects for success and validation by executives.  This is the secret to the BAAM process, smaller agile components with incremental delivery.
  • Go Live – Knowledge transfer is complete, and you are ready to soar on your own.
  • Post Project – Every project is a learning experience. BAAM projects include a retrospective to share ideas on how to make the next phase faster.
  • Videos for Growth – BAAM teaches analytic professionals that a huge component of success relies on soft skills like influence, communication and facilitation. So we provide educational videos as part of the BAAM process.

What’s New in BAAM 2.0?  

Agile is about improving as you go and learning from your mistakes. Well, even with our BAAM process we learned we had room for improvement. In BAAM 2.0 we focus more on what your executives need to succeed. I am always shocked by how many BI managers are unable to communicate to me what the strategic goals of their company are.  Think about it, your task as a business intelligence and analytics professional is to deliver data and insights to help the organization achieve the strategic goals of the organization.  But, no one communicated what those goals are. Hmm… do you see the disconnect here?  BAAM 2.0 coaches you to focus on what executives and the organization really need.  We are talking about the needle moving dashboards.

BAAM 2.0 Tools 

Effectively running a project requires the proper tools and techniques.  With Lodestar Solutions’ BAAM Cognos implementation solution, we leverage the powerful tools offered by Smartsheet to communicate to everyone involved where we are in the process! Check out to learn more. Smartsheet is more than a great project management tool, it’s a leading work execution platform. Smartsheet helps align people, with technology to empower BAAM to move faster and achieve more in less time.  In full disclosure, Lodestar Solutions fell in love with Smartsheet so much we are now an official Smartsheet partner. Contact us at to learn more.

How to Get BAAM?

Interested in learning more about Lodestar Solutions’ BAAM 2.0 - Cognos Implementation & Upgrade Success, and how you can use our unique Business Analytics Agile Methodology in your organization? Contact us at to schedule an initial consultation.

Facilitation Workshop Coming in Early 2020

To complement our BAAM 2.0, we are designing a new workshop for Analytics professionals on how to facilitate effective requirements discovery sessions and meetings. So that when you run a meeting with executives to create your Cognos Analytics roadmap, your executives will have a BAAM look on their face! Email us at if you want to be notified when the workshop dates are announced.

Cognos Analytics Roadmap 

To learn about building a roadmap check out our video and take our action assessment quiz to see how you are performing based on success criteria.