Suzanne stared at her computer screen as she prepared her presentation for the decision board. She nervously tapped her fingers, wondering how she could possibly convince these tough birds that her product idea had great promise, despite a lot of uncertainty around pricing, market acceptance, market share and a multitude of factors that would affect financial success.
She had a good reason to be nervous. This was her second attempt to convince the board. First time, she was armed with a detailed Excel spreadsheet chock full of numbers, macros and formulas, accompanied by a 20-slide PowerPoint deck filled with information-laden bullet points.
It was not a happy time. First, the financial lead challenged her assumptions about cost and margins. “What was her evidence, aside from ‘good judgment’ and ‘a feel for the market based on questionable historic data?’”
Then, it was marketing’s turn, “We think you have grossly over-estimated the size of the market and our ability to achieve sufficient share to make your product a viable one within the marketplace.”
Frustrated, Suzanne tried vainly to defend her numbers but the more she tried, the more questions kept coming. The decision board leader, a gruff no-nonsense senior vice president finally came to her rescue, “Suzanne, I suggest you rework your spreadsheet and assumptions and try again, but you only have one more chance.”