It is appalling that technology groups run their departments as if they have shoestring budgets that’ll fall apart the moment they need to buy a new mouse for a group member’s computer. What’s even more striking is that prevailing technology business advice emphasizes saving the company money at nearly all costs. This ineffective advice is why so many Information Technology departments across the country struggle to meet SLAs and provide useful, highly available services to all of their customers.
I need you to STOP following this advice NOW.
I need you to NEVER leave a single dollar on the table.
Most technology budgets are created around the bottom-line needs that a company has in order to continue operating. Budgets are almost always designed where each dollar is raked through with a fine-tooth comb before it is allocated. When you decide that you don’t need all the money you are given for a project and you inform project investors of that opinion, what soon follows is that you get less and less money for future projects. This is a one-way train to massive project failures, the general perception that your technology department is six feet under, and the near destruction of your leadership capital.
It needs to be stated very frankly: it is ludicrous to spend less money than you are given for a project and for the fiscal year.
Time is a limited resource that runs out quickly and doesn’t replenish itself. It is impossible to get back wasted time. Money is the tool that allows us to increase our available time. Hiring additional workers, spending money on more useful systems and tools, and spending money on research and development will make more time available in your business. This helps massively increase the efficiency of your business and allow you to grow your business faster. Cutting corners with spending money usually results in even less time, missed deadlines, and failing companies.
The most frightening aspect of leaving money on the table is that this practice dooms your company to mediocrity. You won’t be able to hide that you’re using this practice especially when you’re using really old computers, some of the lights in the room aren’t working, and it takes your customer service representative 30 minutes to process a payment. Customers will know that a company takes shortcuts that place their purchases at risk. They will be much less likely to be repeat customers and will be much less likely to recommend you to other customers. Every business knows the immense value of word-of-mouth advertising that highlights the great service it provides. Being cheap with business investments severely minimizes the additional customers that your business will get.
Leaving money on the table is an absolutely inane decision. It is one of the worst ways to optimize your business and causes way more problems than it attempts to solve. The value of money for your business lies in its use as a tool in order to create more time that your business will then be able to use to expand its customer base, expand its profits, and expand its market share.
Don’t leave a single dollar on the table. Use every single dollar you’re given to massively improve and grow your company.