Back to resources

Concrete Tips to Convince Senior Management

Alignment
Leadership
Internal Communication
Convincing

8 March, 2022

Tejas Kokje
Tejas Kokje

Senior Software Engineer at Netflix, Inc

Tejas Kokje, Senior Software Engineer at Netflix, Inc., shares his secret ingredients of convincing the higher management on a huge capital investment with longer-term benefits.

Making the Right Investment Decision

I had an idea that needed some capital investment, where we needed to buy some new servers. The goal of my idea was that the existing servers would replace the load into the new servers so that the processes become more efficient in the long term. However, it was pretty tricky to convince the higher management to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars in investment for the company's benefits 5 years after its establishment.

Convincing is an Art

In an attempt to convince the higher management, what I did was I took 2 - 3 servers and showed them the performance improvement. Once they were somewhat satisfied with it, we decided to extrapolate the servers into hundreds. It demonstrated that if 3 servers could bring so much progress, 100 servers would undoubtedly be more efficient.

Plus, what did the trick there was instead of throwing numbers, I put graphs and charts. The visual representation of it did all the talking. The upward growth chart helped them understand that as we grow further, the servers would scale better than what we have right now.

We had to ensure that everyone was on the same page from a cross-functional perspective. As we were moving to a whole different set of servers, starting from the network engineers, storage folks, and all the other IT guys, we wanted to make sure that every individual was aware of the changes and the interruptions that were to occur.

Furthermore, since it was a team effort, we all had to lean on each other’s expertise to make it happen. We collected the prior experiences and struggles that enabled us to move towards success.

Speak in a Language That Everyone Understands

  • To begin with, I made the mistake of throwing a lot of technical jargon with the leadership that they could not understand. Learning it the hard way, the lesson here is that when communicating with non-techies, make sure to use graphs and charts. Simplify the concepts so that they can understand and perhaps add more into it; rather than being clueless.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

Leaving Room to Say Things Suck — Leadership Lessons from “Ted Lasso”

17 August

A major sign of trust, comfortability, and vulnerability is for someone you lead to be able to say something sucks.

Building A Team
Company Culture
Leadership
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
John Hartley

John Hartley

Senior Engineering Manager at Curology

How to Maintain Happiness: The Underrated Aspect of Creating Team Dynamic

2 August

Jonathan Ducharme, Engineering Manager at AlleyCorp Nord, encourages the importance of a workplace environment that cultivates mental wellness.

Personal Growth
Company Culture
Leadership
Internal Communication
Psychological Safety
Jonathan Ducharme

Jonathan Ducharme

Engineering Manager at AlleyCorp Nord

Scaling a Team in Two Parts: The Product and Manager

2 August

Viswa Mani Kiran Peddinti, Sr Engineering Manager at Instacart, walks through his experience scaling a team, product and his skills as a leader.

Managing Expectations
Product
Scaling Team
Leadership
Meetings
Viswa Mani Kiran Peddinti

Viswa Mani Kiran Peddinti

Sr Engineering Manager at Instacart

Congratulations you're an Engineering Manager! Now What?

29 July

Congratulations, you have just been promoted to an engineering management role. Once you are done celebrating the promotion you have worked hard to earn you might start to ask yourself, now what do I do?

Leadership
New Manager
AJ St. Aubin

AJ St. Aubin

Director Software Engineering at The RepTrak Company

(Re)Organizing Your Teams Using Domain-Driven Design

12 July

A proposal for how to create an org structure that will deliver software systems that you want, not ones you get stuck with.

Alignment
Architecture
Scaling Team
Building A Team
Internal Communication
Reorganization
Ram Singh

Ram Singh

CTO at REAL Engagement & Loyalty