How to get your boss to decide on your project idea or request

How to get your boss to decide on your project idea or request

You have an idea that would bring in more business or improve production and the company’s bottom line. How do you go about getting your boss to take on your project idea or request? Here are six steps to give you a start in the right direction and generate a well thought-out plan:

  1. Do your research

    First of all, you need to get your facts together on how your idea will work and make a difference within your company.

    Organize the details of implementing your idea

    Begin by organizing your thoughts and the details of how to put your idea into action. Be thorough. Cover such things as:

    • Who will be involved in the changes you are suggesting; everyone in the office or just you and a few other staff?
    • Who will handle possibilities such as training others on the new process, customer/client questions, and/or solving possible problems while getting the new process in place? Be ready to be that person designated to handle these areas by putting together a training module and showing how you will fit these added responsibilities into your current work schedule.
    • Will your idea increase production so customers/clients receive their products or services more quickly? Create a couple of potential examples.
    • Does your idea help in making communication between staff and management flow more easily? How will this benefit the company?

    Check the numbers

    • How will your idea improve the company financially; by increasing revenue or cutting costs?
    • If you have access to product or service pricing and/or expenses and costs, use this data to show how your idea will save money or increase revenue.
    • Will your idea save time for staff so they can get more done each day?

    Suggest other ways your idea or request can improve the company

    •  Will your idea improve employee attitudes, allowing them more control or creativity in their work?
    •  Will your idea improve customer service? Will it eliminate some recurring customer complaints?
    •  Can your idea be built upon in other areas of the office or in other departments to benefit the entire organization?
  2. Create a concise presentation

    Next present your project idea in a way that is easy to understand in a format your boss will enjoy. Will you create a PowerPoint presentation or will it be in report format? Set a convenient appointment time with your boss to discuss your idea. Be early to be sure you have everything ready and all equipment is working.

    Arrange the information in a logical format

    • Introduce your basic idea before going into details, giving an overall picture of the changes you are suggesting.
    • Talk a little about how and why you came up with the idea, plus how and why you believe it will work for the company.

    Begin to include the details, but don’t overwhelm your boss with too much data.

    • Describe the financial benefits and include relevant financial data showing potential increase in profits or reductions in costs.
    • Discuss ways your idea will benefit staff, such as improvements in work flow efficiency, increased job satisfaction or better morale.
    • Present how your idea will benefit management, such as delegating more responsibilities to staff.
    • Talk about how your idea will benefit customer/client satisfaction and possible word of mouth advertising.
    • Give a clear example of how the change might actually work once it is in place.
  3. Stress other potential benefits

    • Let coworkers that are already on board with the changes show that they are willing and eager to participate.
    • Present ideas about how your plan will reduce customer complaints, increase return customers and/or bring in new customers.
    • Discuss the potential for these improvements to be applied to other departments to benefit the whole organization, such as streamlining functions in bookkeeping, marketing or sales.
  4. Express your desire to take the lead and the responsibility

    You are excited to take on the job of putting your idea into action, so let your boss see your excitement and your readiness to forge ahead with your well prepared plans.

    • Present your training module and how you will fit the training process into your current schedule. This should include a daily step-by-step process of actions that will make the changes happen in a specific amount of time.
    • Include a discussion about initial ways that staff members will be involved, training steps they will take under your direction, and future plans for including all staff members as the process becomes fully implemented.
    • Assure your boss that information on progress will be made available as your idea is put to the test.
  5. Prepare for any questions or requests for further information

    • Be as prepared as you can be for questions or objections your boss may have.
    • If there are questions you can’t answer at your presentation, request they be postponed to the next meeting.
    • Be flexible about your idea and allow your boss to make suggestions.
    • Give your boss a physical copy of your collected information for review and consideration after your presentation.
  6. Open the door to feedback and further discussion

    • Set an appointment for a follow-up discussion with your boss where you can answer lingering questions or present further information. This will give your boss time to consider what you’ve presented and for you to do any further research or planning that is needed.
    • Prepare thoroughly for the follow-up discussion using a summary of your presentation that stresses the benefits of your idea and answers any lingering questions.

    Once you have made your presentation, let the boss think about it until the follow-up appointment.  Be ready to take yes for an answer and to put your idea into immediate action. Also be ready to take no for an answer in a professional way without harboring any bad feelings toward your boss. But don’t give up! You can always revamp your idea and make a new presentation at a later date.