Add Value in Ways Your Boss Can See

TechRepublic writer Jay Rollins wants you to find ways to get your ideas to the folks upstairs, and his to-do list is designed to get you more invitations to management meetings. If you’re used to hearing, "Shut up, computer guy. Go back to your room with all those flashing lights and spinning gizmos and let us run the business," (Rollins’ words, not mine) then here’s what you need to do.

Identify a key executive in the company. "Look for one executive who impacts the bottom line or is a key player in what the company is trying to achieve (e.g., growth, cash flow maximization, market penetration, product differentiation, etc.)." 

Learn what the executive does that is so important to the company. "Do not delegate this leg work to a subordinate. Understand the underlying processes that make this executive and her department so important to the company’s goal."

Come up with a project or two that can help. "One of the many strengths good IT people have is the ability to observe a process and come up with a technological solution to make it more efficient or effective or make the process have a greater impact."

Do the project. "Find the budget and find the time, but do it – personally. And, yes, this is in addition to your day job. This does not have to be a huge project. A nice quick win project is all that is needed."

Blow your own horn. "Call a meeting with the key executive and present the project."

Sounds easy, right? Why will it work? As Rollins puts it:

You have demonstrated an interest in an important aspect of the business; you showed initiative to fix a problem or improve a process; and you got buy-in and adoption of the project at the process-owner level. It didn’t cost the executive anything, and it demonstrates that you know and understand her priorities. Basically, you just added value.

 — Don Willmott