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

10x engineer or 10x impact?

26 May

Hiring 10x engineers is hard for most companies. It’s a tough battle out there for talent. So how should most companies approach building their team?

Building A Team
Leadership
Hiring
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Vaidik Kapoor

Vaidik Kapoor

VP Engineering - DevOps & Security at Grofers

The Art of Asking Why: Narrowing the Gap Between Customers and Users

24 May

Jord Sips, Senior Product Manager at Mews, shares his expertise on a common challenge for product managers – finding root causes and solutions.

Customers
Innovation / Experiment
Product
Personal Growth
Leadership
Stakeholders
Users
Jord Sips

Jord Sips

Senior Product Manager at Mews

Managing Different Time Zones: Inclusive Collaboration Methods

19 May

Jonathan Belcher, Engineering Manager at Curative, shares an unknown side of synchronous communication tools and advises managers on how to handle a team that’s spread across the globe.

Remote
Internal Communication
Collaboration
Cross-Functional Collaboration
Jonathan Belcher

Jonathan Belcher

Engineering Manager - Patient Experience at Curative

Managing Remotely: Balancing Team Cohesion and Focus Time

26 May

Jonathan Belcher, Engineering Manager at Curative, explains how to balance team cohesion and individual focus time, tapping into his experiences of working remotely for seven years.

Remote
Micromanagement
Meetings
Internal Communication
Productivity
Psychological Safety
Performance
Jonathan Belcher

Jonathan Belcher

Engineering Manager - Patient Experience at Curative

Streamlining Product Processes After a Reorganization

16 May

Snehal Shaha, Lead Technical Program Manager at Momentive (fka SurveyMonkey), details her short-term technical strategy to unify processes among teams following an acquisition.

Acquisition / Integration
Product Team
Product
Building A Team
Leadership
Internal Communication
Collaboration
Reorganization
Strategy
Team Processes
Cross-Functional Collaboration
Snehal Shaha

Snehal Shaha

Senior EPM/TPM at Apple Inc.

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.