5 Essential Steps to Getting Your Project Approved
When you have an idea or proposal you believe in, it’s easy to presume that getting it approved will be a piece of cake. However, no matter how brilliant your idea may be, others can see it in a different way and it will take efforts to convince them.
Whether the approval comes from the senior management or the client, you should spend a proper amount of time preparing your project for approval. Without this behind-the-scenes work you won’t be able to get all necessary resources (e.g. funding and staffing) to get the job done.
These five simple steps will ensure that decision makers will say “yes” to your project.
1. Share your “Big Idea”
Every project should have a big idea that gets people excited and drives the whole working process. As a project manager, you should not only understand this big idea but also be able to communicate it to people responsible for funds and other resources.
No matter how simple or complicated your big idea is, you should know and explain to stakeholders what benefits it will bring to your organisation. This is what will keep them interested in your project and make them want to find out more.
2. Define benefits
You should take some time analysing all positive benefits that come from your project. Think about increasing the company’s income and market share, speeding up and improving workflow, etc. Or even think globally and find out how you project can impact the lives of people all over the planet.
If your project doesn’t bring solid benefits, then there will be many questions why it should be considered at all. So prepare in advance and have all the necessary documentation and research at hand.
3. Create a roadmap
When you are clear about the “big idea” and solid benefits of your project, it’s time to create a roadmap. You don’t need to create a detailed plan – just the main milestones and date ranges. You may also include a list of major tasks during each phase of the project to see how it’s progressing.
4. Make the pitch
This can be either a formal meeting with stakeholders or a casual discussion in a small group. Woody Allen once said 80 percent of success is simply showing up. So the more people you can get interested and involved, the higher your chances to have the project approved.
5. Keep your presentation simple
When presenting your project to stakeholders, don’t overwhelm them. Stick to two or three main points and don’t try to prove that you know much more about the topic than your audience. If your presentation is too detailed, it can distract people and make them feel stupid for not following along.
If stakeholders are interested, they will ask questions to learn more. Answer these questions with confidence and as simply and straightforwardly as possible.