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Convincing Others of System / Code Changes: Quick Outline

Here's a quick 7-Step Outline you can use to create a presentation or document when you need convince Stakeholders that a Code or System change should be implemented.

  1. Describe the current state (of system or code) and what is missing.
    • The audience needs to know why you are asking for the change.
    • Make sure your Problem Statement is clear. This is an often ignored item that confuses the audience.
  2. Summarize the desired state and why it is important.
    • Again, the audience needs to know what advantages which will arise from implementing the change.
  3. Provide steps to get to desired state.
    • This will allow your audience to get an idea of the scope of the project (and help them understand if it will takes hours, days or years to implement the change).
  4. Why you (or your group) are the right team to get to the desired state.
    • How much history you have with your audience will determine how much info you need to provide to convince them that you are the right person or team to do the work.
  5. List Challenges to achieving the desired state.
    • Provide a list of items that could hinder the team (or cause the project to fail)
  6. Provide feasibility of achieving desired state.
    • Provide monetary and time estimates and list of resources needed so audience can determine how likely it is that everything can be pulled together to achieve the desired state.
  7. Provide a convincing call for others to drive towards the desired state.
    • After you've put everything forward, make strong request that the project begin so the problem can be solved.

If you apply this outline as you attempt to create your documentation or presentation, it will help you create a fast / short document which will provide the necessary details so a good dialogue about the project can begin.

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