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how to be persuasive/tacky in proposing IT projects?

By tech06 ·
We have several legacy computers (Win95/9 that are in bad shape and users are complaining about them all the time. I've enlisted names whose computers should be upgraded along with reasons and submited to the management. However, I'm getting no response after a few attempts. Without sounding too pushy, how should I handle this in a better way? The biggest ROI I can think of is the time saving for the users to run their jobs on pc and management should know this already. I've tried cleaning the pc's, reformatted and told users to shut them down everyday, but they are of no help. The hardware are just too old to run the newer applications. It's getting frustrating but I'd really like to help the users to get their job done (if I get mine done). Any suggestions is greatly appreciated.

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Security and your time

by DMambo In reply to how to be persuasive/tack ...

For one thing, W9x clients are a major security risk if you have any concerns over who accesses the machine and where files are stored.

The next thing to do is to log your time spent twiddling with these PC's. That can improve ROI quick if you show how much else you can be doing.

Then make user the users are applying their own pressure. Is there anything new coming down the pike that you can show will exceed the capabilities of these machines? It sounds like you have heard the complaints, why hasn't management?

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Time and ability to work

by sMoRTy71 In reply to how to be persuasive/tack ...

I agree with DMambo. Document how much time you spend trying to keep these machines limping along.

Also, you said, "The hardware are just too old to run the newer applications."

If that is true, then show which apps are affected and why (i.e. get all of your critical business apps and compare their system requirements to the actual system specs).

Incorporating end user feedback with information could also help, especially if there is a significant cost (i.e. if employees waste X minutes per day due to slow apps).

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Focus on negatives of not upgrading!

by Namco In reply to how to be persuasive/tack ...

I recently had a very similar situation. 6 old NT4 boxes that were a complete pain to support, required different drives, were the OSs we had least experience in AND were slow, prone to disk errors, etc etc

Anyway, I quickly learned that justifying expenditure isn't so much about ROI, it's about loss due to downtime. Do the opposite, don't point out the benefits of upgrading, point out the disadvantages of not upgrading.

This is both tactful and persuasive

Businesses generally don't like spending money, even spending money to save money. COnvince them that NOT to replace the machines puts a risk on the business, and there is a potential for serious downtime

I didn't actually do this, but after months of pointing out the benefits of upgrading to no avail one of our NT4 PCs packed in. Downtime of the PC resulted in factory machine downtime, which resulted in factory rescheduling. The pitfalls of not upgrading were suddenly obvious to all - 6 new Dells ordered next day.

So, to sum up, be really tactful and focus on the negatives of not upgrading, rather than the positives of upgrading.

Also, stick in in writing, so if they don't upgrade and it all goes pear-shaped you are covered.

M

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"it all goes pear-shaped"??

by DMambo In reply to Focus on negatives of not ...

That's one I haven't heard before, and I lived in the south for 5 years where all those types of expressions come from!! :)

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Isn't there a standard document by Microsoft on this....?

by tjelas In reply to Focus on negatives of not ...

I was faced with this situation no so long ago and resorted to Google for help but drew a blank. I would have thought that since Microsoft is the culprit here, they would have come up with a standard document outlining the PROs and CONs of Upgrading and Not to Upgrade. Would make life much easier for a lot of IT Consultants out there as well.

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Put you r case on paper

by Oz_Media In reply to how to be persuasive/tack ...

You mentioned ROI, but have you actually calculated it? Have the bean counters seen this?

ROI and TCO for a replacement product, sell the bean counters.

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cost/benefit analysis

by madtechgirl In reply to how to be persuasive/tack ...

Do a cost benefit analysis, show how much it will cost them to continue to run as they are with the problems that will arise. Count the time it takes you to clean up the PCs, the time users are waiting for response, etc. and multiply by estimated salary. Then cost out the solution and how much money would be saved over time with the upgrade. Executives care about cost and benefits - talk their language. Don't forget that Microsoft is soon not going to support Win95/98. Put in every angle you can think of.

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Have THEIR boss request the upgraddes

by frwagne In reply to how to be persuasive/tack ...

Show the person who supervises the folks with the ineffective PCs how it's affecting their ability to do their jobs, and therefore how it's affecting the work product that supervisor is responsible for. Let that functional supervisor push the request through to get his/her team's equipment upgraded.

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Sometimes it's not business but politics

by Too Old For IT In reply to how to be persuasive/tack ...

I contracted at a flashy division of a old-line tool company. We had the trucks making the routes to every repair shop, we had the racing team, we had our stickers all over the cars that finished first, yadda.

What we didn't have was the "numbers" that the head office expected.

Long and short, we were NOT getting anything newer than the crap we had. If we wanted to buy something, we had to take the money from the promotional or racing division budget. And they wouldn't let loose of a penny. Home office wouldn't even approve the time to switch our CEO's suite off a 10 M switch to a 10/100.

We had a number of CFO's troop through, none would stay after thier first meeting at the corporate office back east.

Gave me a sour taste ever after for parent companies and ethereal metrics.

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