When you request something – do your homework

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.

W. H. Auden, Poet

There are going to be plenty of times in your career when you need to ask for something ; resource, money, more people, time etc

When you put in your request make it easy for the approver to make a decision. By doing this you are helping them to make the decision faster and with more accuracy, and in doing so you are also helping yourself.

Here are some very basic, yet often missing, elements that go in to a simple request:

  • How much will it cost? (not just initial cost, but on-going costs, service charges, renewal charges, early exit chargers, finders fees, booking fees or any other cost for the lifetime of the thing you’re requesting)
  • When do you need it and why that date?
  • How long is the commitment for?
  • Why do you need it?
  • What paid alternatives are there and why have you not chosen them?
  • What free alternatives are there?
  • How will it add value, and when will it start to add value?
  • How are you measuring the value?
  • What problems are there (or may there be)?
  • Who will support it or make it happen?
  • What on-going time costs are there?
  • Who else could it help?

You can apply these to anything from a request to go to a conference, to rolling out a new tool.

You don’t need to add a massive amount of information to each request but showing others that you have considered these basics is a professional and positive sign of good management. And of course, you don’t need to be a manager to use this approach.

Go forth and request stuff.