Convincing and looking for project partners

by daniel on November 30, 2008




I have a new project, to help us become a more software guided company and understand the different methods required for software development. The first step I’m taking is convincing the management that programmers need much more desktop space and thus more and larger screens are needed.


Since the company is a large one, there is an acceptable guideline for what the standard equipment is, regardless of what the actual job title or (god forbid) what you are really doing. That means that if you have a desktop you are entitled to a 19″ (1280×1024) screen, while if you have a laptop, you are entitled to a 17″ (still 1280×1024). I’m aiming for two screens: one 19″ or 17″ that have the same resolution so are interchangeable, and a 22″ of 1650×1080. This configuration has several benefits:

  • Use the smaller screen for the GUI and the second screen for the code.
  • See more of the code on screen and have the sidebars open at all time.
  • Be able to have two documents at once and perform actions related to both documents (copy, compare, etc).
  • Be able to quickly format a document by having the format toolbar open while editing a document.
  • Be able to manage several windows open at the same time without having to alt-tab all the time spend time looking for the window at the task bar.

All of the actions above take time, considerable sometimes, and can be avoided easily by using a two screens and one of them larger.


I had to make a strategy how to tackle the change and how to help me move on. The strategy was easy, go to the people who are interested in the change, provide enough information and try to make the change small enough to make it worth the effort.

So it started with my boss, not to start something without some time allocation. Then it went to the president of my group for some budget allocation, and it was accepted as well. Up till now it was easy because these were people from the division who knew me and trusted me.

Following came time to convince some people from other divisions, starting from purchase dept. The girl was a bit negative, but after realizing I had good points and that I was responsible to convince the management she became supportive. Next in line was finance. He was much more reserved and pointed that computer equipment was managed by MIS and they should be the ones performing the purchase. Since the point is correct I contacted MIS for understanding what the procedure is. After several phone calls I found out who is responsible, so it was time to have the most critical conversation.

Before calling him, I made a list of several reasons for him to be supportive:

  • The gains presented in previous section
  • The reasons MIS should push the changes
  • That making a good pilot will help him present the information for next year and show a productivity gain
  • That I will help him to show initiative in making the whole company a software company


The conversation went very well, and he agreed to make this purchase a pilot for presenting the productivity gains to the management.

This was a very good study for me, how to present a project, to convince people and to handle people disagreeing with me.

I hope I can continue to lead project to a successful pilot and promote it to a full nice guideline change.

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