While automation engineers are knowledgeable in the technical aspects of the project definition and justification, we are sometimes found to be lacking in business/finance/management skills. In fact, one of the best ways to leverage your process control capabilities is to learn to measure, document, and communicate in business terms, rather than technical terms. My friend Peter Martin at Invensys has written a book “Bottom-Line Automation”, published by ISA, on this topic. If you want to become a process control guru, this book is a “must read”. See this book in the ISA On-Line Book Store. (No, I don’t get a commission…yet!)
You may also be interested in these white papers (Free, but registration required):
It may not be what you want to hear, but business, communications, and finance are often our weak spot. If we can develop these skills, we’ll have a much better opportunity to get funding for the projects that we know can help the company’s bottom line. After all, it will be far easier for you to learn these skills than it would be to teach process control skills to the finance department!