Chapter 17. Demand Management and Project Prioritization


The heavens themselves, the planets, and this center

Observe degree, priority, and place,

Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,

Office, and custom, in all line of order.

 --William Shakespeare[1]

This chapter identifies and outlines an approach for managing the demand for projects of all types in the IT department. We define IT demand management as a metaproject that determines which IT projects should be commissioned and executed by the IT department by calculating their financial value and prioritizing the projects based on that value and other factors, particularly IT department capacity and overall organization capacity. IT demand management includes the process of identifying and inventorying all ongoing and planned projects, estimating effort to complete, determining costs and benefits, other project dependencies, ease of completion, risks, technical implications, and adequacy of current systems. The result is a properly prioritized inventory of projects and a corporate decision on how many simultaneous projects are feasible.

Demand management is a distinct and separate consideration from project management and is often a neglected topic in IT. IT project management concerns itself with clearly defining project scope, requirements, tasks, time lines, milestones, internal and external resources, costs, technical, application and data architectures, and business impacts for a given project. This discipline usually begins ...

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