Demand Management Trends in 2018

Demand Management is not something new. In fact, it has been around for decades. More recently, organizations have started giving it more importance.

A demand may come from dozens of internal departments across the organization, and each department may have its own strategy. With a central demand management process, an organization needs to make sure that the demands are prioritized in alignment with the company’s strategic objectives.

In the past, governance and processes existed, but mostly manually or semi-automated. Now it’s moving towards full automation which involves less human intervention, and enables the teams to take decisions quickly and better prioritize.

In this article, I will talk about the trends which are going to make IT demand management processes more information focused and drive more value.

One place for logging all demands

Demand may be generated from any department, any unit or any role within the organization. For logging the demand, the demand registration should be accessible from anywhere, anytime with the required authentication. The system must be able to handle concurrent users across geography or locations as per organizational needs and should be scalable too.

On-cloud systems are likely to procure such needs due to the smoother availability of the systems across geographies.

Integration with Line of business

Gone are the days when demands were coming from a single system or were logged in manually. Today, demand may come from any other line of business systems and should be directly posted to the demand management system where approvals and further demand processing steps take place.

For example, while using project management tools for managing projects, teams may not want to compromise on other aspects of how leads and opportunities are managed using CRM or how team collaboration takes place using Yammer, Jive, Teams, etc., or how source code repositories are used to centralize the source code, track the work items/issues/bugs, etc.

Prioritization with What-If scenarios

What If Scenario Analysis or WISA is a tool to anticipate contingent situations and be prepared to handle those situations. Usually, this is done at the scheduling stage of the project.

What-if scenarios can be used in any analysis where evaluation needs to be done on some parameters like cost, resource, schedule, etc. Running such scenarios help to understand decision makers how the change in variables may impact the outcomes, like Project Plan, Delivery dates, and others.

In the current era where business drivers of the organization/departments may vary frequently, the demand portfolio needs to be managed and analyzed accordingly. Tools like Power BI and Microsoft Project Online can be used for running What-If Analysis scenarios, which enables decision makers to be highly responsive most of the times when drivers/factors vary.

Resource Management

Resource management in the past was associated with project management. In the recent years, the resource has been considered as a separate entity to manage. Portfolio of demand management is prioritized depending on the availability and skill set of resources. This gives a better idea to portfolio managers and other decision makers whether to take a project or not, and what is the risk associated while doing a project which has a low score or not selected in the portfolio.

Blended Project Management Methodologies

There are different project management methodologies like Waterfall, Agile, Critical Chain, PRiSM, PRINCE2, etc. The methodologies are used depending on project scenario and the type of execution required.

Waterfall methodology is the one that is the most used across all industries, and it has been very common in software development and construction. The Agile method tries to provide rapid, continuous delivery of product to the customer. With increasing level of customer satisfaction and quick response to change requirements, organizations are moving towards Agile methodology. In fact, a mix of the two methodologies (Waterfall and Agile) is also used.

Mixing the two methodologies together gives the freedom to project managers to select the methodology for individual tasks/deliverables as needed. The hybrid methodology trend has already been in and would now would be more visible as several tools supporting hybrid methodologies are available to help project managers do planning in hybrid mode.

Intelligent Data Insight

With the increased generation of demands in organization/departments, comes a variety of data sources and integrations on top of different systems. A consolidated data visualization becomes crucial to take right decisions. For this, organizations require role-based data availability and access, the capability to drill down to the lowest level of data, intelligent data exploration like showing trends, and prediction based on available data, among others. Services like Microsoft Power BI can help.

These trends that I talked about are rapidly changing the way demand management is executed within organizations and will keep changing the way we work in 2018 and beyond.

Recommended Project Management Software

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Swati Trivedi

Swati is a Microsoft Certified Professional with 10+ years of project experience. She takes care of requirement elicitation, architecting solutions, managing projects and teams, and ensuring efficient project delivery. She has extensively worked on technologies including - SharePoint, Project Server/Online, EPM, ALM, .NET, Office 365, PowerBI and social integration with enterprise systems. She is currently working as a Solution Architect and also leading the Business Dynamics - PPM COE at Advaiya.