OSS persuasion

Whether you are engaging a client on a solution proposal or simply kicking off your project exploration phase, clients are today deeply interested in ROI [Return on Investment].”
Jason Charvat
, here on TechRepublic.

OSS tend to be evaluated by technical stakeholders in an organisation. They may be strong influencers, but they’re not often approvers. OSS projects tend to be of sufficient size to only be approved by executives or senior managers within your organisation. Unfortunately, many senior stakeholders often don’t know enough about the OSS’s benefits, opportunities, risks or resources required so they need to be quantified.

The business case and particularly the ROI metric are often used to bridge the gap between the technical and executive levels of an organisation.

Jason Charvat’s article above describes the difficulty in preparing an ROI on a technical project like an OSS because there are always so many intangibles. He states, “ROI offers tremendous leverage and benefits in establishing the business case to justify technology initiatives. However, it is just one of several financial measurement tools that can be used to support an investment decision. For some IT projects, it is nearly impossible to express the benefit in numbers. However, the return can be significant, albeit of a nonfinancial nature (e.g., competitive advantage, product differentiation, customer service). Executives today are therefore deeply interested in ROI. In the majority of cases, the returns will be substantial—if the project is deployed correctly.”

Technical resources may like to maintain the technical “high-ground,” but if they want to get funding for their OSS, they need to call upon their armoury of persuasive skills. These come in many forms of course, but the business case and ROI help to provide leverage.

Jason’s article provides some helpful insights into how to prepare and monitor your project’s ROI. You may also like to use our Business Case builder to help turn some of your intangibles into tangible metrics.

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