“In the early days of IT Projects, the stated benefit was usually the automation of manual effort; this was not always as simple to propose as it sounds, because automation usually was translated into reduced head count for the business. If the staff in the area affected by a project perceived it could lead to lay-offs, this could kill a project because you almost always need those people as the business experts for the business scope of the project”.
David then went on to point out that instead of laying-off staff, the benefit could be seen as freeing-up-mental power (my interpretation).
I am currently putting out a proposal for a large government agency.
I recognize that practically every automation project I propose falls into one of these categories:-
Category 1: Reduce staff needed to perform a task
Category 2: Free up staff to focus on intellectual aspects of the business
Category 3: Produce an otherwise unattainable result.
There are other categories, add them as they come to mind.
The point I wish to make is this:
By choosing an appropriate category as my theme, I can reduce the negative impact of the proposal and accentuate the positive impact, the benefit.
For the case I have in mind – cataloging a collection of 2,000 documents before the staff member retires – is a task that just cannot be accomplished in the present state of the organization.
It’s not a question of laying-off staff (Category 1) or of frightening people into thinking that they might have to think (Category 2) as much as a message to senior management, no need to involve junior staff, that they can get something done that they could not otherwise achieve without blowing their budget on part-time help.
I shall take category 3 and use it as the theme of my proposal.