Re: Increase budget estimate by 45-80%
I've been sitting on the other side of the table in a non-IT context. We knew the guy asking for money. We knew he was planning to overspend his budget by 10% figuring that was allowed. So we cut his budget by an extra 10% so that when he overspent by 10% he'd still be about where we needed him to be. The people who weren't planning to overspend their budgets by 10% got what they asked for, at least in as much as we could fund them in any given year. The thing about budgets is that the guys running the numbers aren't really setting them. They are reporting them. They know how much money the company is going to generate and they know what all the Wants the company has. But Wants always exceed Income, so something has to give. The budget planning process is supposed to be about doing that rationally.* Oh, and for the record, the guy we knew would overspend was in a high visibility, high PR, medium impact on on "business" position.
The budgeting guys are as smart as you are. And they're watching your behavior on the numbers, not the way you set your budget.
So if you're getting your budget cut by 50% and can't make do, find another job. You've either got an asshole for in finance and you won't be able to change it, or a problem elsewhere in your IT management system which you probably won't be able to change that either.
*To the best of my knowledge the only time we shorted IT was once when I overlooked one of the needs we'd have for storage on a server. As I was the one submitting the request on that one, I can't really blame the budget committee for that one. If I had asked for it, I think I would have gotten it.