” I have this very good idea” said the young manager. “I am convinced that following this process will bring us terrific benefits within 6 months. How can I convince my management to accept my idea?”

Here’s what I suggested to him:

All of us have had to present a case to seek approval- for a project, for more resources, for a new process etc. A good idea is to see things from your audience’s point of view. In other words, structure your case presentation as answers to questions they will have from their perspective.

  • What is the proposal? How is it different? What are the benefits? What are the risks? What are the pillars on which the case rests?
  • Why should there be change? Why is this case better than existing alternatives?
  • How will this be implemented? How much will it cost? How long will it take?
  • Who will be responsible for implementing the proposal? Who will be affected by the change? Who knows most about the change?
  • When will the proposal be implemented? When will we see benefits flow in?

As you can see, answering these questions will help you prepare a presentation that answers the queries and anxieties of your audience. That shows that you have thought of various angles and taken into consideration issues such as costs, risks, and time frame .
When I met the young manager a week or so later, he was positively beaming. The presentation went off very well, he said. His proposal had been approved and he was flush with enthusiasm to sink his teeth into the new project.

In summary , I reminded him to “WWHWW “the next time he had to make such a proposal.

  • What?
  • Why?
  • How?
  • Who?
  • When?

WWHWW ! Difficult to pronounce, but easy to remember! I can assure you that you will find, like the young manager did, that WWHWW is worth remembering when you need to present a case.

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This is the 72 nd of the “A Step A Day “series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.