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I am looking for advice/guidance (on specific points) on generating/creating a document for convincing my boss to invest in some hardware to make my job easier and more-productive.

Background

The background of why I'll put simply, I work in automation developing scripts and when I run them it occupies one of my screens and sometimes two screens which ends up limiting my ability to get any work done somedays. A solution proposed by my boss was to get another machine installed at my desk and use it as a 'remote' machine where I install all the software I need and that IS a viable solution however it will cost a bomb, like €1500 for it. (Most of the cost is from hiring to 3rd party contractors to install an extra LAN port for the new machine, I'll break it down in the comments if someone wants)

After talking with other people in the industry some have recommended a USB to VGA cable which for all purposes I can see, is exactly what I need.

Question

I'm stuck on how to formulate a document to give to my boss that demonstrates this is a much better investment of money and to present it to him. If you were a manager what details would you look for on a document that would make you say "Yes you are right D, this would be a better option for us in many ways." In my company I am not familiar with any formal way of submitting a document that is present here, I don't think there is one and I want to submit something that won't be scorned at or passed off without proper consideration.

Addendum.

So far on my document I have a short 2 line intro, a price comparison between the adapter I found and the new machine install, a chart showing my screen occupation time by my scripts and how much it impacts my work capability (per week) and another chart beside it showing how much more I could accomplish with something that is cheaper (in a man day count over 6 months). I also have where we can buy it and how soon we can install it. I feel like something is missing that when looked at from a managerial position is incredibly obvious but that I am lacking in knowledge of knowing while writing one with no formal guidelines here to follow.

EDIT: Thanks for the duplicate marking, I didn't see that other question. Found my answer there that helped me in identifying details I need for my document. Details in how to outline "business case" better specifically for me in GuyM's answer.

marked as duplicate by Lilienthal, Dawny33, IDrinkandIKnowThings, thursdaysgeek, Chris E Jan 20 '16 at 19:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    Why do you need to run another LAN line? A cheap router like you use at home is not compatible? There are 3 and 4 screen video cards. I would let this be the bosses solution as if your solution does not work then you broke it. – paparazzo Jan 20 '16 at 17:02
  • Why does the cost matter to you? If that's the real issue, I'm having trouble understanding why it's your concern. If that's not the real issue, then maybe you should approach things differently. – NotMe Jan 20 '16 at 17:23
  • @NotMe at least for me, as a developer, it would be way more useful to have more monitors on a single computer than more computers. – undefined Jan 20 '16 at 17:32
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    Specifics of the situation aside, this seems like a clear-cut duplicate of How do I request new equipment for the office?. This duplicate is also worth reading: How can I convince my boss that we need better machines – Lilienthal Jan 20 '16 at 17:50
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    I need another LAN line because every desk has 1 single LAN line and getting another would require an install of another line. Routers are not allowed in the company from outside. Laptop (my machine) only supports two screens. Cost 'doesn't' matter I guess, but we are a brand new team scrabbling for budget while making a name for ourselves internally so I wanted to show my boss i'm budget conscious while we find our feet and just wanted to show initiative by presenting alternative solutions. Thank you @Lilienthal i will check those, appreciated. – Dexter Whelan Jan 21 '16 at 14:21
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Just go on and tell him. You're helping him save money.

Were it the other way around, then you would need an excellent document.

Edit: If you need help explaining, just say something along the lines of:

"Hei b0ss, I know that you're worried about my productivity and wanted to buy that new machine. But I found this 10 bucks cable that will be more useful and way cheaper than a new PC. What do you think about this?".

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My understanding is that your machine only supports 2 monitors, and that you feel you need more, in which case the possible solutions are:

  1. Buy another machine and remote from one to the other as needed, or

  2. Use a USB to VGA (or DVI/HDMI) adapter to add more monitors to your existing machine

You're over-thinking how to present this to your manager. Just go to him, sit down, and explain that you would be far more productive if you had another screen or two.

Point out that you can use these USB adapters to add multiple screens to your machine, and that the implementation price is far better than buying a new machine.

If your boss understands the fundamental issue then he won't mind buying a couple of adapters and monitors.

Note: I've used these sort of adapters before, and I advise you to not skimp and get the cheapest one. I find that they get much better in quality over DVI (at around $50 or so). I had a cheap $20-30 dollar USB-VGA one which would generate a very fuzzy image - text was basically unreadable.

Note 2: Keep in mind that these monitors will not work as well as ones connected to a video card. Playing video on them is basically out, and your machine may slow down if you add run 2 displays off of adapters. Just do some research and figure out what sort of specs you need before making the purchase.

Note 3: you may also want to ask for some brackets to mount the monitors on in order to organize your displays, as they will eat up a lot of desk space.

  • This isn't really the place to answer technical problems but note that the (onboard) GPU is usually a limiting factor in the number of active displays that can be connected. Non-specialised hardware typically doesn't support more than the two that is standard. – Lilienthal Jan 20 '16 at 17:54
  • @Lilienthal - I feel a little silly for asking, but when you say "onboard GPU" are you referring to the video card's GPU? Or the motherboard's processor's? – AndreiROM Jan 20 '16 at 17:58
  • Onboard GPU was the typical term to refer to a graphics processor (GPU) embedded in the motherboard which allows basic display over the motherboard's video outputs. With the recent release of GPUs as part of the CPU such as with the AMD APU (with the Kaveri flagship), that term is a bit dated. All but specialist business computers, such as those for CAD, will use a non-dedicated GPU. Join me in chat if I was still unclear. – Lilienthal Jan 20 '16 at 18:07

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