I approached the VP and said, “If you approve $8,500 for me to initiate a pilot program to improve division quality and performance, I will guarantee a documented payback of $20,000 within the next six months. Allow me to select 12 supervisors, and release me from my everyday responsibilities. Should I fail, fire me.”
I spoke to him in the language of management and defined the consequences. I did get the $8,500 and my choice of 12 participants, but I was not released from day-to-day responsibilities.
When I proposed the initiative, our division was last for all measurements deemed critical. After the first pilot group documented a $72,000 ROI within the first three months, the VP agreed to expand the initiative, ultimately involving everyone in the division.
The initiative produced a documented net payoff of more than $1 million over the three-year implementation period. In that time, 72 projects were implemented, with ROIs ranging from 5-to-1 to 400-to-1. I didn’t get fired; I launched a new career.
The initiative produced a documented net payoff of more than $1 million over the three-year implementation period.
It’s a lot easier to sell your project idea when you can propose an ROI. Don’t exaggerate. Work with the people who will be implementing the improvement to ensure they agree with the estimates and the feasibility of the improvement. If they don’t buy it, it probably won’t be successful.
This story was authored by Russ Westcott and featured on ASQ.ORG You can read the full account there.