IT managers, make the CFO and COO happy to be successful.
"If you want to be successful, make two parties happy - Finance and Operations"
That's the first piece advice we give to IT managers we coach. As Fractional Chief Information Officers, we wouldn't get anything done if this motto wasn't at the core of our consultancy.
Remember that CFOs and COOs are at odds. One is watching the bank account, the other needs to keep the trains running. If you understand their objectives and language, you're going to have a much better chance of getting technology projects approved.
Understand their objectives:
COO - Are they worried about downtime? Do they need to improve accuracy?
CFO - Are they trying to reduce headcount? Better manage overtime? What's their investment horizon? What sort of a return do they want on capital?
Understand their language:
COO - This is usually pretty easy for IT people to understand. Processes, flowcharts, roles and responsibilities are generally understood.
CFO - This is a heavier lift for technology teams. They rarely have a background in finance and so the lexicon is very foreign.