Case StudyProduct Team: Securing Budget - Mastering Budgeting Through Effective Communication

eBay, a global e-commerce leader, faced challenges in securing budget for various product initiatives. Traditional budgeting processes often involved lengthy presentations that failed to convey the true value and potential of projects. This led to difficulties in gaining approval and aligning stakeholders with the strategic vision.

Mastering Budgeting Through Effective Communication

The Solution

Kevin Lee, Chief Product Officer at eBay Korea, introduced a strategic approach to budgeting that focused on the art of "show vs. tell." The aim was to make budget presentations more impactful and persuasive by effectively demonstrating the potential value of projects rather than merely describing them.
The approach involved several key steps to ensure successful implementation:

  • Understanding Stakeholder Perspectives: The first step was to thoroughly understand the perspectives and priorities of key stakeholders involved in the budgeting process. This involved regular interactions, feedback sessions, and aligning the project goals with broader business objectives.
  • Data-Driven Storytelling: Kevin emphasized the importance of data-driven storytelling. This meant using relevant data and metrics to build a compelling narrative around each project. The narrative was designed to clearly illustrate the potential impact and ROI of the project.
  • Visual Demonstrations: Instead of relying solely on verbal descriptions, Kevin encouraged the use of visual demonstrations. This included prototypes, mockups, and visualizations that could vividly showcase the project's potential and make it more tangible for stakeholders.
  • Interactive Presentations: Budget presentations were made more interactive, allowing stakeholders to engage with the content and ask questions. This interactive approach helped address concerns in real-time and build confidence in the proposed projects.
  • Highlighting Strategic Alignment: Each project proposal was framed in the context of eBay’s strategic goals. This alignment helped stakeholders see the bigger picture and understand how the project contributed to the overall vision of the company.
  • Training and Development: Kevin also focused on training his team in effective communication techniques. This included workshops and coaching sessions on storytelling, presentation skills, and the use of visual aids.

Outcomes achieved

The adoption of this strategic approach to budgeting led to significant improvements in the process of securing funds for product initiatives at eBay.

  • Higher Approval Rates: The use of compelling narratives and visual demonstrations resulted in higher approval rates for budget proposals. Stakeholders were more convinced of the value and potential of the projects.
  • Improved Stakeholder Engagement: The interactive presentations and data-driven approach fostered better engagement and collaboration with stakeholders. This led to a more transparent and supportive budgeting process.
  • Strategic Investment: By highlighting strategic alignment, the budgeting process ensured that investments were directed towards projects that contributed to eBay’s long-term goals and competitive advantage.
  • Enhanced Communication Skills: The training and development initiatives improved the overall communication skills of the team, making them more effective in advocating for their projects.
  • Faster Decision-Making: The clear and persuasive presentations facilitated quicker decision-making, reducing delays in the approval process and enabling faster implementation of projects.

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