23 January, 2007

Are there any relationship between Demand Management, Requirement Management, Request Management and Change Management?

In the context of IT, Demand Management is a process which manages the complex and strategic IT demand requests issued by the business. In this process we prioritize, consolidate, schedule the requests, enabling the business users and IT to collaborate efficiently at every step, cutting costs and accelerating resolution. Normally, this is an activity belonging to Portfolio Management which is the the process of determining (and monitoring) how much money the enterprise should spend on the various categories of IT-enabled business investments. Demand Management works with both business and its IT peers through an ongoing and iterative process that aggregates demand for IT services, represents the resources requested and their costs to the business, and helps optimize the deployment of IT resources over time. Demand Management is often covered by Portfolio Management solutions or Request Management solutions.

A few examples are Mercury ITG, Clarity (Niku) from CA, Compuware Changepoint and Borland Tempo.

These suites are more in the PPM market than anything else and these vendors should be considering to link PPM suites with IT Service Management suites for several reasons.

Requirements Management is the science and art of gathering and managing user, business, technical, functional requirements, and process requirements within a product development project. The project could be for a new consumer product, a web site, a system or a software application. In all these cases, the five classes of requirements should be represented.

Solutions such as RequisitePro from IBM and Telelogic Doors support that process.

Here we see in some way some identical concepts with Demand Management and potential links also with IT Servie Management.

But let’s still define two additional concepts.

ITIL doesn't have a separate process for Request Management as it does, for instance, with Incident Management in version 2. The Request Management will manage (from request to fulfillment) the goods and services requested by users based on the catalog provided. Standardized goods and services can be made available to the end users through self-service interface or by calling the Service Desk. When handling the request the Request Management will also refer to the SLA.. Version 3 should clarify the situation and define a new process, where Service Requests are now a function of Request Management which ties on the Change Management process (In version 2, Service Requests were a part of the 'Incident Mangement' life cycle).

The Change Management process ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes to minimize the impact of change-related incidents and improve day-to-day operations. Changes are issued either from Incidents, Problems or customer’s requests. There are also touch points between Project Management and Change Management.

Finally and to keep it very simple, everything is about a user asking something to an IT department, with different levels of importance. From a new product to a new service, from a additional or new feature to a physical piece of hardware, allowing the business to be more efficient.

There should be a clear alignment of these concepts with an end to end process, integrating IT Service Management at the end. All demands should end up in the ITIL Change Management process and vendors should integrate their platforms to facilitate that integration.

16 January, 2007

IT Research and Innovation: Preparing the future

IT Research and Innovation provides a framework for an organization to achieve IT objectives through the systematic and sustainable applicatoin of innovative processes and methods. Innovation encompasses everything from product development to process improvement and employee engagement.

To run such initiative, it is important to define an IT Research and Innovation framework describing a flexible, structured process achievable within any organization. A framework helps to tap into human capital and creative potential of the IT department within the context of a focused approach of delivering business value to drive a variety of innovation-related activities: new service development, process improvement/development, new technologies and IT methodologies, the implementation of IT services and systems.

An IT Research & Innovatoin pipeline consists of a new approach to help the IT Department to put innovation into a wider context within the IT organization.

As research progresses, specific areas of an Innovation Pipeline is expanded with the goal of developing a coherernt and consistent framework aimed at achieving strategic IT objectives through the systemic and sustainable application of innovation through an IT department.

Various solutions supporting Innovation as a process do exist and can easily be implemented in any company. As an example: Brightidea.