Getting Senior Management Buy-In for your AI Safety Software Project

Getting approvals from senior management to implement a new AI safety software project can be difficult, but definitely not impossible...

February 15, 2023 12:23 PM
3 min
Getting Senior Management Buy-In for your AI Safety Software Project

Getting Senior Management Buy-In for your AI Safety Software Project

Getting approvals from senior management to implement a new AI safety software project can be difficult, but definitely not impossible. Before you approach senior management with the details and try to convince them about why such a project is good for the company, it’s important that you follow a few critical steps. 

In the following article, we are going to discuss five key steps that will make it easy for you to get senior management buy-in for a new AI software project. But first, it’s important to discuss what AI is all about..

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What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial intelligence is a type of computer programming that can “learn” without being explicitly programmed by humans. This means that once an AI system has been set up with the right parameters and data, it can identify patterns in complex data sets and use that information to reach conclusions about future scenarios or situations.

However, it’s important to note that AI can only perform actions that it’s programmed to do. For instance, an AI program that’s designed to play chess can’t “learn” another board game, such as Scrabble. 

Now that you know the basics, let’s talk about the five steps to help you get senior management buy-in. 

Step 1: Understanding Which Behaviors and Situations Matter 

The first step is to figure out which scenarios and behaviors matter the most. For instance, if you only learn from fatal injuries in the workplace, your chances of improvement are inherently low.

There are more opportunities if you learn from accident reports, but generally, many people don’t even report minor injuries or even near misses.

But, what if you could monitor each and everything that happened, including the events that led to an injury or even an unsafe event? 

With AI monitoring tools, you could do just that, making it easier for you to gather actionable data that you can use. 

Step 2: Selecting the Right Solution

It’s obviously going to be difficult to get management buy-in if you aren’t sure about which solution to go with yourself. Senior management prefers accurate research and you need to have the right facts about why a particular solution is a good choice for the organization. 

For instance, a common perception amongst senior managers is that AI technology is often an expensive undertaking, with many considering it as a “nice to have” instead of a viable step up to improve workplace safety. 

To change those perceptions, it’s important that you show management that such tools aren’t expensive, and more importantly, that they can be deployed across the organization. 

Tools such as Protex AI which use machine learning safety are incredibly powerful and can be deployed across the organization, providing critical insights and safety monitoring, as it plugs seamlessly into existing CCTV networks. 

Step 3: Understand Your Audience

Like with any proposal, you need to know who you’re pitching to. If you want to get approvals quicker, it’s important to know who is in charge of making decisions, but it’s also important to know who holds the most influence. 

For instance, it’s unlikely that the CEO will approve an AI project without getting approvals from different department heads. Needless to say, you need their backing. 

More importantly, you need to have comprehensive backing documents, ranging from calculations indicating the cost benefits to the company, as well as answers to common questions, such as how a tool like that might impact employee privacy in the workplace. 

It’s also important to note that senior management might have their own targets, and if you can align yours with theirs, it might be easier to get approval. 

For instance, some senior managers might be looking to back a high-tech project in a bid to improve their profile. You may want to try and pitch to them first. 

Step 4: Tailor Your Message

Once you understand your audience, it’s important to tailor your message accordingly for them. Find out what they look for in different proposals, and make sure you add everything in yours. 

Ideally, you should have the data and the facts to back up everything you propose. With your written proposal, make sure to include all relevant points, including the common challenges that you might face, and how to overcome them. 

One critical point would be a cost-benefit analysis, which shows how much the company will spend, and the benefit they expect to derive from it. Try to be as realistic with your figures as it might hurt your credibility if you aren’t accurate with such figures. 

You should also list down potential barriers after talking to the AI software developer, so that everything is captured accurately in your proposal.

Step 5: Reinforce Their Response

Reinforcement plays an important role in managing worker behaviors. It’s important that you provide feedback to management about the results as frequently as possible. 

Also, when providing feedback, try to be concise. Senior managers seldom have the time to go through detailed reports regularly, so make sure that your reports are impactful.

Conclusion

There are a myriad of ways by which AI can support the work done by EHS teams. You just need to find the right facts that you can present before management in order to secure their buy-in. 

As long as you present the facts correctly, make sure you provide accurate projections, and are realistic about the resource allocation and costs, your chances of getting senior management buy-in remain quite high! 

Would you like to take these learnings (and more insights) away to digest them? Download the Getting Senior Management Buy-In for your AI Safety Software Project whitepaper.