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Three buy-in challenges all CIOs face

Eric Ernest | June 28, 2013
Look at some of the buy-in challenges that most CIOs don't like talking about—and how to beat them.

"I said, 'if it's a failure, I will face the consequences.' I told them that if it fails I won't come back, and that I will quit the company," he says.

Arora was able to cement the feasibility of the project by tying it into every management's general aversion to expensive projects. Second, by staking his credibility, management was able to see that Arora was completely convinced of the project, and therefore was that much more willing to let him test out his solution.

His project was carried out successfully, without the need to set up extra infrastructure at these locations, apart from renting some fenced property to store the tractors. It's a figure, he says, that isn't large because he rented land far from a city's center, where it was cheaper. Moreover, it didn't even require the physical presence of different members of various teams such as the sales and finance at those sites. The move also ensured that sales tax didn't have to be paid for tractors as now they were being transported to depots as stock product. The overall savings he gained per tractor amounts to around Rs 800.

If you win one you make it easier to win the next one. "The moment you replicate the initial success then the business takes you at your word from then on," Arora says.

Challenge 2: Business doesn't believe IT knows its processes
CIOs know that getting their ideas accepted by people who are impacted by change—without ruffling any feathers or stepping on any toes—is as important as getting their initial project accepted by management.

This is something that Perfetti Van Melle's, head of ICT, Basant Chaturvedi understands and practices.

During one company meeting, his peers in supply chain and sales complained about the amount of work involved in planning dispatches of Perfetti Van Melle's products. At that time, dispatch data was manually fed into Excel sheets, resulting in a significant time gap between planning dispatch and its execution, with the plan taking almost a day to put in place. Having around 100 trucks that need to dispatch products to 38 locations, the consequent work in manually filling out an Excel sheet was humongous.

Chaturvedi suggested that automating this system would solve their problems. While the solution itself was straightforward, the way to obtain consensus proved trickier. An environment, which is not automated and needs various point of views to be incorporated for automation, needs lots of brainstorming and acceptance of idea by functional team.

To smooth things over, he started off by including major stakeholders in the decision-making process.

"You have to involve all key stakeholders from day one, from the conceptualization stage itself. You have to ask for their views first before giving your own. Then you have to see how to marry both your ideas so that both parties are on board with the proposal," says Chaturvedi.


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