If I want to recommend a technology/plugin/library to my company for use in a project, are there any methodologies I can use that will produce more reliable results and a more convincing presentation of said results than just my own "common sense" approach?
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There's a book published for the PRINCE2 development methodology called "Buying Software: A Best Practice Approach" that describes a ridiculously elaborate software procurement process that might be justified for choosing software to be deployed for daily usage by tens of thousands of employees and costing millions of dollars, but it could be scaled down to your scenario:
Rather vague question with a lot of possible answers. But here's my take.
First you need to be clear about why you want to bring in this new tech. So:
Once you have some clear answers to these questions, you can put together your presentation. Then it simple comes down to good presentation techniques. Some that I follow:
Dogfood the candidate technology/library/plugin(s) with plausible use cases for your application.
Plot your experience with the candidate technology/library/plugin(s) on a spreadsheet, and note performance, scalability, extensibility, cost, and anything else that your company finds useful.
Finally, schedule a half hour meeting with your manager to relay your findings. The strongest candidates should almost be self-evident.