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

People Oriented vs Task Oriented

20 January

As a Lead or Manager, one could naturally incline more towards being either people oriented or task oriented. Which is better? Do you know which side you lean more towards?

Leadership
Kamal Raj Guptha R

Kamal Raj Guptha R

Engineering Manager at Jeavio

Myth Busting

10 December

Supporting principles on why being data led (not driven) helps with the story telling.

Alignment
Managing Expectations
Building A Team
Leadership
Collaboration
Productivity
Feedback
Psychological Safety
Stakeholders
Vikash Chhaganlal

Vikash Chhaganlal

Head of Engineering at Xero

The Not-So-Easy Guide on How to grow and develop an Amazing A-Team

5 December

Your Org Team may as well be a Sports team. Let's explore how this cohesive, multi-skilled team can be optimized for Great Group Playoff.

Alignment
Building A Team
Company Culture
Sharing The Vision
Embracing Failures
Team Processes
Jaroslav Pantsjoha

Jaroslav Pantsjoha

Google Cloud Practice lead at Contino

DevSecOps: Why, Benefits and Culture Shift

29 November

Why DevSecOps matter and what's really in it for you, the team and the organisation?

Innovation / Experiment
Building A Team
Leadership
Ownership
Stakeholders
Cross-Functional Collaboration
Vikash Chhaganlal

Vikash Chhaganlal

Head of Engineering at Xero

The Growth Mindset in Modern Product Engineering

28 November

The impact you can have with a Growth Mindset' and the factors involved in driving orchestrated change.

Building A Team
Leadership
Collaboration
Feedback
Ownership
Stakeholders
Vikash Chhaganlal

Vikash Chhaganlal

Head of Engineering at Xero