January 17, 2013Do Your Homework!
I know that I sound like your parents when you were in school but you need to do your homework before presenting results to management. We capacity planners are in a position where we need to ask leaders for large sums of money to satisfy the business unit’s IT demand. Our decisions can impact the entire organization and if seriously mistaken, could possibly cause the business to fail. For whatever reason, they may not have had enough experience with our work to have high confidence level with us, so they ask us questions. They want to be sure we have thought of most if not all eventualities. Senior leaders want to ensure we understand all the risks to and impacts on the organization and have selected the best option or options. So it is important that you can quickly provide answers that reveal considerable thought has gone into your plans and requests. Failing to do so will mean they will constantly question the accuracy and validity of your results.
Early on I learned that capacity planning is more than doing trending or knocking out predictive capacity models. After the first couple of executive meetings, I grew tired of being embarrassed because I didn’t have the answers to their questions. I started to look at my work beyond the numbers, trying to think of the impact of different eventualities, both technical and business-related. For us, our work is a collection of mathematical and intuitional exercises. For senior executives, it goes far beyond that, therefore we need to understand those positions and be prepared.
So bottom line, do your homework. Senior leaders will test you to ensure you have thought things through; more at first and less as they gain confidence in you.
Until the next post…