Friday, May 3, 2013

Techniques to pitch your innovative ideas in IT

You have an approach to an issue with the design or flaw in a system. You brought up the idea with your project manager who dismissed it immediately without considering the whole possible solution. You know your idea has merit. You know your idea could work, but how do you convince your peers and managers, how do you persuade them?

Persuasion is a skill that, when coupled with perseverance, will help implement your idea. Of course, your idea has to be good and well thought out. Many people have better persuasion skills than ideas and that’s part of the problem with IT these days: many project managers have other agendas that diminish the technical integrity of the solution. Solution flaws come back to haunt you if you let them slide because of the pressures of timelines in the present. Have some guts and make your case now or suffer the consequences!

Plant the seed, add water

Bring up your idea and be aware of the reaction. If the reaction is dismissive, don’t try to convince at that point. Let the idea work its way into the doubting minds. In the meantime, build your argument. Let’s say a few other ideas are brought up and tried, but ultimately fail. Your idea may be brought up by the person who dismissed it a few days ago. If this happens, try not to feel discouraged as ideas are cumulative and no one person deserves full credit.


If the idea you have involves software, see if it is available on a trial basis. If so, install the software and configure it. Build a proof of concept. The best way to convince your management that your idea is a good one is to show it in action.

Gather consensus

Your ability to persuade individual members of the team could be crucial to getting your point across. The more team members that are convinced, the better chance of actually getting your innovative idea recognized.

Let other ideas fizzle out, be patient

If you are patient the inferior ideas will eventually be proven faulty. Reintroduce your idea and witness how it is accepted. There are many reasons that folks reject ideas at first. It would take all your energy to figure them out. Your job is to know that your idea is the best and to persevere.

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