How to get resources in Operations
Hint: learn from marketing and sales
Before I post this tomorrow as a post on LinkedIn I thought I would test some ideas here in Substack. It has also been awhile since I have written. Apologies! Work has been wonderfully busy the last few weeks.
So let's talk about how to get resources. As we all know, Operations can be a lean, mean, and burned out machine. Without the foresight to raise your hand the inevitable burial of workload will occur. And for that, the business will suffer.
Don't let that happen.
Whether you're looking to acquire a new software, reprioritize projects, or ask for additional headcount try the following playbook below.
Generate interest in your solution
Send interesting articles to your stakeholders talking about the value of the impact you want to unlock. It's no different than sending content or offers to prospects. As in marketing, the goal here is to pique interest first. Over time the call to action will intensify but for now focusing on gaining mind share. Winning the battle overnight is a recipe for overreaching. Patience.
Seek to listen first rather than leading in with your own ideas
Before jumping to a conclusion on how something should be done, sit with your stakeholders to get a pulse on the business. What's top of mind for them. Do they already a fix in mind? Where does your solution rank among all of the initiatives going on? Sounds similar to a sales doesn't it?
Straight out of a page of the sales playbook. This is a discovery session. See if there's even a fit here for your solution. You may not have all the information to make an informed decision. Keep digging.
Build up a business case
Based on whether the solution is a fit for an existing issue the next step is to gain alignment internally. One tool to consider is a business case. Why do we need this? What business outcomes will it drive? What's a reasonable return on investment?
Remember... as Ops we also have to "sell" in some ways. Others will call it influence or persuasion. Doesn't matter the name.
Define the path to award/selection
Ask, "if agreeable what are the steps to get this done?" Pause. Let the conversation flow. Ask your counterparts to go deeper. "Tell me more about that". Connect the value to the investment. Don't forget the concept of TCOS as well, Total Cost of Ownership (see my other article discussing this topic).
Lastly remember that people buy or invest when...
1) Strategic relevance
2) Tactical urgency
3) Rapid payback
So good luck in building up your operations function. I'm looking at you startups out there!
Chat with me anytime on LinkedIn.