CIOs: 10 ways to get your controversial project approved

From speaking the right language to knowing how colleagues make their bonus... back to the business and show how the project is having a positive impact. Breaking the project down in this way will instill confidence that the CIO can deliver valuable resolutions to business problems and help ensure the IT department is seen as a good area to invest in.

5. Decommission zombie projects

CIOs should look at existing IT projects currently supported by the IT department and identify where cuts and savings can be made.


If you're having a hard time convincing your boss to increase the budget of a project, outline the cost of not implementing itPhoto: Shutterstock

Tech projects that are no longer useful or are outmoded should be decommissioned to make space in the IT budget and workload for new projects.

By presenting your project alongside a proposal to cull obsolete schemes, you will show that the IT department does not just ask for money from the business but is looking for ways to save money as well.

6. Outline the cost of not doing the project

Another way to strengthen the argument of your proposal is to identify the potential cost of not applying the changes you've suggested.

"There is always a cost of not doing something when you take it in comparison to your main competitors," Longbottom said.

"What happens if both yourself and your competitors decide not to do this change at all? Things carry on as they are. If you make the change and they don't, then hopefully the change will be beneficial and you'll be able to take market away from the competitor."

"What happens if your competitor makes the change and you don't? The competitor will take business away from you, so if life is bad at the moment, it will be worse if they make the change."

Presented in this way, the worst-case scenario of implementing your project is that competition stays the same and the best case is that your organisation's ability to compete improves.

7. Build up credibility

An innovative tech project that is proposed by the business itself is much more likely to be approved than a project proposed by the IT department, according to Chip Gliedman, VP and principal analyst at Forrester.

This preference for ideas that have come from the business demonstrates the importance of perceived insight into the organisation in getting a project approved.

Whether the CIO is thought of as a business partner or...