Partnering For Performance: Convincing Decision Makers (Part 2/4)
In part 1 of this series, “Building a Performance Minded Organization”, you realized that it’s often best to partner with load testing experts to help you build solid performance testing methodologies.
However, we’re guessing that you might not be the only one who has a say in making this difficult decision and that you now have the arduous task of getting your colleagues and managers onboard.
In this post we’ll give you the tools to effectively communicate with internal decision makers to ensure they understand the benefits, risks, and effort required to partner with a performance testing company.
Humans are inherently selfish; therefore, one of your best tactics is to use empathy to understand what motivates each stakeholder when making your pitch.
When stating your case it is imperative to highlight what they get out of a partnership with a software testing company. That resource who your team steals away from other projects? The stakeholder is about to get her back. The results their team wants in a week but can only be provided in two? The stakeholder gets them when they want it. That website crash we experienced during the latest marketing campaign? The stakeholder can rest peacefully knowing that that won’t happen again.
You have to outline, in clear terms, how partnering with a proven performance testing expert will benefit them. And you need to clearly articulate that the partnership will be greatly helped with their professional support and expertise. However, sometimes even showing someone how they will personally benefit, is not to convince them. Why?
2. Job Security Reminder
At times managers and even front line workers can view an outside company as a threat. They can think ‘Oh no! They are here to replace me’. We’ve even worked with companies where some decision makers have tried to sabotage a partnership, in a misguided attempt to maintain control. This is why, from the very beginning, it is important to emphasize that partnering is NOT replacing and throughout the engagement remind stakeholders that their purpose is to help you reach your performance objectives.
At Total Performance Consulting we know we can only help you reach those performance goals, if we have the support of the internal teams. In fact, any project is benefitted immensely by internal experience, and subject matter knowledge.
3. A Detailed Scope of Work
Even if an outstanding ROI is demonstrated, it is still necessary to list specifically what is being provided. Any company wants to know, if they are paying out money, what exactly they are getting back for it. Tangible assets (tools, scripts, reports, etc..) need to be listed, as well as exactly what activities (script updates, new scripts developed, reports generated, meetings attended, statuses provided, etc..) will be performed. Any statement of work should list these out, so that all parties involved know what is expected from each side. Being specific is critical to winning over internal decision makers.
4. A Small Bite First
If some decision makers are hesitant, it is perfectly reasonable to break a project into parts and conduct some short-term projects to prove the concept. These short-term projects need to have very specific objectives, and lay the groundwork for additional engagements. In general, these short-term projects are more expensive, as shorter-term engagements are usually charged at a higher rate. Annual or multi-year contracts will always cost less per hour than a 2-week short-term engagement. However, this is often a successful approach to gaining the confidence of all decision makers and it is good business sense to ensure the partnership will work in the long term as well.
5. Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Our goal is to get buy in from all internal decision makers. We know you want to reach your performance goals, and we want to help you reach them. We also know that no one wants internal discord in his or her organization. Let us help you calculate your RoI, and help you have those conversations with internal decision makers.