When it comes to prioritizing work in an organization, there's one thing that always gets people's attention. And that's money!
People will push product teams to deliver features because it leads to one new sale, two new sales, a 1% increase in monthly revenue. You can be sure that folk know what the income number is.
The number they're less likely to give is how much it's actually going to cost to get to one new sale, two new sales, or a 1% increase in monthly revenue.
That's your job. You need to know what your team costs.
To get this number you need a few other numbers first:
If you want to be super accurate, then you need to make an allowance for all the extra costs of having an employee, such as their equipment, taxes, healthcare, share of office space etc... This will vary wildly depending on your organization so you can allow for between 25-50% extra, or just leave it off altogether as you can still make your point without it.
Based on just salary costs this team is costing us
The general rule is that knowing this number will be useful in any conversation where someone wants to do anything with the team, which frankly is most of the time.
Yes, these are simplistic examples, and the world is more subtle, and we can divert people onto other work, but you get the point. We lose money doing one thing over another thing, so you better know how much money it is.
You might not do anything about it, but at least you know and you can be in a position to make informed decisions.
Ask yourself, some of the following questions:
Once you start to see this activity in terms of costs, then it's amazing how sharply into focus some of your decisions become.